Education builds a better life


Being given an opportunity to learn is at one’s own risk and I say that because of the old saying, “you can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink.” But that saying goes to old horses not to the young colts. The colts are taught drinking water is important.

Last week I volunteered with the Rotary Club’s CHOICES program to go into Lowery Middle School to talk to the eighth grade students about finishing high school. It was a learning experience that I’m proud to be part of. As I stated earlier, the opportunity to learn is at one’s own risk and for me everything is a learning process at my age. Even though I was the so called “presenter,” I still was a pupil to those students as I learned more about how to better myself to be a role model and better understand why I first decided to finish high school and go on to graduate college. They helped me remember the reasons why I’ve come this far: there’s no better option.

As we talked to the students, who were 13 to 15 year olds, we’d ask questions like what do you want to be doing 10 years from now, and how do you plan to get there. At their age it may have been too specific for them, but we wanted a broad answer such as finish junior high, finish high school. With those, their shouldn’t be an alternative and getting them to understand that may have sunk in their heads if they want to do the things they dream of doing now.

I consider myself a testimony. At 13 years old, I knew I wanted to be journalist and almost ten years later here I am. Why? Because in my mind there was no other option. I wanted to live the life I wanted to live and I knew there were certain marks to get past to achieve.

Whether those students go on to a four-year university, a two-year community college or a technical training school after high school, the goal is to just get them to consider finishing high school is a “gimme.” We wanted them to see the value in a high school education and how much more equipped for the real world they will be with it. The analogy we gave them: What kind of phone do you prefer, a Smart Phone or a Basic Phone. They all want the Smart Phone. Then we expressed to them to become the Smart Phone and you can start by simply finishing high school. They got the message.

To be able to do the things you want to do in life is dependent on your work ethic and your level of education that pertains to your goals. Not everybody needs or wants a PHD to the things they love, but we all need that high school diploma to enjoy life and live an abundant one. Let’s educate our children not just because they are our future, but so they can enjoy life as we have and are enjoying it. The least we can do is bring the colt to the water hole and if it doesn’t drink then we teach it why it should.