• Rob P
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

An idea to help kids "escape" poverty. They have the potential, they just don't know or believe it yet.

Just a thought.
Growing up in, then "making it out of," "the hood," I realize when I look back now, visiting family from time to time, that most of the people I've known there have remained. Some doing ok, but not great. Others not doing good at all. I also recall that their parents grew up there as well. A very few of us, all my HS class colleaques (due to my HS counselor, I'm sure), have also "made it out of" that place. In researching it, just a bit, I realize that there is at least one common element. We all seemed to have someone convince us that they believed in us, when we did not. I was resolved to go work in a grocery store on my block packing sodas, then maybe work my way up to working the counter. Absolutely nothing wrong with doing that, at all, but if I could help my 18yr old child do something better, I sure would. However, my HS counselor was just as resolved to see me go away to college (away being key). I believe 3 things were necessary to convince me, which he did. 1) Show me that it can physically and logistically be done, (grants & loans, admission/entry, commuting, food, etc.), provided I was capable of qualifying, 2) Convince me that he believed that I could do it and be qualified, 3) provide me with just a glimmer of hope and belief that he could be right about #2). He succeeded. I moved into the middle class somewhere, raising a family where there is no question of going to college. Only which one. Now, if every kid in these regions had just one person, parent or teacher, to simply believe in them and be persistent, especially in the face of delinquent behavior and hopelessness (they are indeed capable, they just don't realize it), we would surely see a significant shift in numbers "making it out of" these situations and perhaps even coming back to improve these regions.
Just a thought.

  • Sep 19 2011: Kids + Education + The will to learn = College = Job = No Poverty = (Smiley Face)
    Simple as that.
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    Sep 15 2011: It's hard not to become that which they think you are.

    Thank you for your "just a thought". That of which you speak can be applied anywhere by any person of influence in a child's life. If only we would.
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    Sep 14 2011: Your personal experience backs up a lot of Psychological research. It appears that children can overcome great hardships and even traumas if ONE person believes in them and encourages them. What would happen if each of us decided to be that ONE to someone else's child?
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    Sep 13 2011: I strongly agree. I think the current initiatives (like street workers, non-profits donating for kids in difficult situations) don't consider this enough. I don't know for sure, but I suspect there are not enough resources to go and talk to every child, to be some sort of godparent for them, because that is what would make a difference: to have the feeling that there is someone connected to you through belief and support, someone who stays and encourages you, shows you what's possible, and sometimes kicks your ass. A great thought. But is it feasible?