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Homeless to Harvard June 26, 2009

Posted by jayejfenderson in Articles.
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I find the story of Khadijah Williams absolutely inspiring.  This young woman spent most of her life living on the streets, attending 12 schools in 12 years, and doing all she could to get good grades and finish her education.  This year she was accepted to Harvard where she’ll be attending in the fall, and her journey there is nothing short of incredible.  Read her story here.

(Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)

(Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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So You Think A College Degree Is Overrated? April 20, 2009

Posted by jayejfenderson in Articles.
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Given the rising rates of college tuition coupled with the downtrend of the economy, the value of a college degree has recently come under fire in articles like this one . But I have a hard time believing that any degree-carrying middle or upper class parent of a child who has the potential to go to college would say, “Actually, a college degree is so overrated and not worth the money in the long run.”

I have a hard time believing that since currently 90% of college students hail from middle and upper class families. And those same families spend upwards of $2 billion/year (on top of 4-years of college tuition) keeping a college test and admissions prep industry afloat to ensure their children do, in fact, go to college.

True, college is not for everyone, and a person can certainly make a great living without a college degree. But, in my opinion, the greater issue is that those students who have the potential to go to college and would greatly benefit from the experience are not earning their four-year degrees. And it’s just not the students that are being left behind, but our state and national economy suffer from this achievement gap.

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that California will face a shortage of college grads by 2025. “35% of the state’s working-age adults will hold a four-year degree, while a college education will be required for at least 41% of job-holders.”

That’s a pretty sobering thought. So if the social justice aspect that every student should have the opportunity to go to college isn’t convincing enough, then perhaps the economic reality will move us to action.