Andrew - Somerset, Ohio
Entered on November 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

With the advances of modern day technology, finding a steady, good paying job seems to be becoming more challenging in America today. The job market seems to be shrinking, and the unemployment rate is too high. Although many factors contribute to this, I think we as Americans do not fully understand what causes this. Education is an opportunity presented to everyone in the United States. Through high school, education is free of charge and open to everyone. It is no secret that high school graduates have a much greater chance of finding a good paying job as opposed to non-graduates. Still, in 2005 the national United States high school graduation rate was at an extremely low mark, reading 68.8%. I think this number shows how much work needs to be done, and this is why I believe in education.

Coming from a small town of less than two thousand people, I never knew how many students didn’t finish high school. I was brought up by two loving parents, who cared for me and my well-being. They always wanted to see me succeed, so they gave me as many opportunities as possible, such as sending me to a private school. It never occurred to me that not everyone else was brought up like this. My education is important to them, for they do not want to see me make the same mistakes that they made. My mother received her associates degree after high school, but didn’t pursue her bachelors. My father graduated high school in the top 5% of his class, but chose to start working instead of going to college. I can remember riding in the tractor with him throughout my childhood, and it always seemed like he enjoyed his job. Now that I’m older, I’ve begun to notice how miserable he is at work. He works extremely hard, but doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. One day when I was of middle school age, I was riding with him after his boss had really upset him. He sat me down and said “Drew, this is why you need to get a degree. Then you don’t have to go through everything that I go through everyday”. Without a college education, he really has no choice but to keep working where he is. Looking back on their decisions, both my parents regret not going to a four-year college, and they continue to urge the importance onto me. One day in my high school physics class, I started talking to one of my favorite teachers about the subject. He told me that a person who graduates high school would probably make ten thousand dollars more in a year than a non graduate. He also told me that someone with a four year college degree would probably make twice as much as someone without one. This statistic I found very impressive, and it really made me see the importance.

This is why I think education is such a wonderful thing. It is an opportunity to gain knowledge on concepts that we are unaccustomed to. By going to college, we are able to choose what we would like to major in, which leads us our career when we graduate. I know that I want to be an engineer when I graduate, and a college education is my path to fulfill my dream. This is why I believe in education.