This I Believe

kimberly - norfolk, Virginia
Entered on April 16, 2007

I believe in the future of our children

I believe in preparing America’s children for the 21st century is among the important national priorities. Today’s children face the promise of a new century of unmatched opportunity in which new technologies, significant improvements in health care, expanding economies, and other advances to create the hope that their future will be the brightest of any generation in history. Students desperately need to be equipped with educational knowledge and the social and technical skills necessary to foster success in continued education and in life.

Life is never what one would wish. Life is never subject to control; but it has a sense of irony, sometimes indescribably so. Life is a teacher, an understatement that can be dismissed by no one. However, too many of today’s youth face obstacles that obscure that bright future, including poverty, violence, child abuse, limited educational opportunity, and unhealthy behaviors. The devastating economic, social, and human costs of these obstacles are indisputable. A life can be its own reward as well as its own punishment. For example, a seventeen-year-old black woman who decides to drop out of high school during her senior year. Has she clearly understood the ramifications of her decision? Perhaps in short term but what about long term? If the young woman does decided to finish her education in the form of receiving her GED is that the same as her toughing it out and receiving her diploma? As a retail manager we are trained to examine applications very carefully and one of the qualifications that we look for is whether or not the person has received his or her high school diploma. In cases where the individual has not received a diploma we look for other qualifications such as experience or some college education to substantiate why they should be considered for the job. Our national school dropout rate is unacceptably high, costing over billions each year in lost earnings and foregone taxes, as well as lost human potential.

I believe that addressing the challenges of our children and investing in opportunities so that all children can reach and their full potential will in turn invest in the future of their predecessors. An essential component of this strategy is to actively research to provide new awareness of ways to improve their futures and to offer guidance for policy makers to assure that efforts are made to aid in the success of our children who are our future. Countless people fail to realize the reasons why we have problems in life and it is because of our lack of knowledge. The gap continues to grow as we try to understand how children grow to become healthy, well-educated, and responsible members of humanity. A map provides a visual idea of the topography and geography of the present day America. What will the map show us in the 21st century of today’s children?