This I Believe

nicholette - fairborn, Ohio
Entered on May 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that poverty is a cycle, and this I believe can be broken. People in poverty become accustomed to the lifestyles they have been living and eventually give up on making something better out of it. The result is a continuation of people being poor for many years and even into their next generation. In our economic culture, when you are born poor you are given less opportunities and are judged and mistreated solely because you don’t have a lot of money. People in poverty are mentally attacked and forced to think that they can not move up in the world. Poor people may not receive proper education, and may struggle with keeping a healthy body and mind. People living in poverty are surrounded by inequalities and environmental pressures encouraging them to fail. A person’s goals and aspirations are defined by their surroundings, and when those surroundings include violence, poverty, and poor education people will not find value in a more enriching lifestyle.

One way that American citizens are forced into the cycle of poverty is through our education system. The system is set up so that our property taxes fund local schools. This allows the wealthier children to attend better schools and not be distracted by children of another social economic status. The poor children are then placed in schools that do not provide the same educational standards and cause them to have lesser prospects. Our education system is just one of many systems that keep the rich on top, giving them the most power, and keeping the poor oppressed. In order to break the cycle within our education system schools should be funded by federal dollars. Schools should be staffed by men and women of different races and ethnic backgrounds. All children should be encouraged to attend college and they should all be equally prepared to go. Children that struggle in school should be given individual attention and more encouragement. After all I thought the motto was: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND.

As a volunteer at a large grade school I have experienced the effects that poverty can have on a child’s education. I have witnessed children having feeling of frustration and inferiority, which in turn has affected their ability to learn. I know that these children could benefit a great deal with a small amount of help and encouragement. In conclusion I believe that there are many things people can do to end the cycle of poverty. I believe that educating yourself about poverty and learning of the many social injustices in our country would be taking a giant first step in the right direction. People need to become more aware of the growing issue of poverty, and encourage others to do the same. People in poverty can and will achieve more as long as they are provided with the proper tools and given the encouragement to move out of cyclical poverty.