Best Interest Initiative: Education/Career Training
A good education is the foundation of a nice life. Education should be formal (in class) and informal (everywhere else.) Learning ends the day you die.
No bad legal Job- Young people should know that all work is a brick in the wall of life and each position serves a stepping stone purpose. If your first job is tossing watermelons in the Georgia sun, that work should motivate you to study harder in school and tossing melons for money is better than paying gym fees.
When gas stations were filling stations, a hustling attendant would wash the window and check the tire pressure with such enthusiasm that customers would say, “I could use a man with your drive in my business…come see me Monday morning.” Today, kids could create similar situations at MacDonald’s, Wal-mart, Starbucks or the local golf course. The golf course is where the rich guys and connected people hang. “Yes sir, get that for you right now.”
24/7 Grammar – Education starts with parents speaking proper grammar at home all of the time and encouraging kids to the do the same. It’s a good thing for families to sit down at a table together for one meal daily and that time should include personal updates on what is happening with the parents’ careers and business and the kids’ schools, friends and activities. Amazingly, some 20 year olds can’t speak in complete sentences to other adults—know what I’m say…know what I’m saying. And they wonder why they didn’t get the clerk job at the mall. Also, it’s in kids’ best interest to text and email in regular sentences because it’s practice for school and work.
Rough music and T.V. are the enemies of good grammar and kids should be surrounded by well-speaking friends. Of course, reading is fundamental and the internet isn’t as nice as an actual book.
How to attend school/study- Some people can study with a radio or T.V. blasting. Others can’t; I can’t. Students must discover a system, plan or ritual that works for them. I have found it wise to ask academically successful people what worked for them; some of it is good genes but some of it is learning how to “get down for the get down.” Some people rewrite note while others read chapters ahead. Whatever gets the job done best needs to be the program.
Cost of College- The cost of college has gone up considerably in the last 20 years. Kids need to have a plan to finance higher education as early as 10 years old—the kid’s plan in addition to the parent’s plan. Starting life off 50K to 100K in debt is the worse. Many states have joint enrollment programs in which students earn considerable college credit for free before graduating from high school. Some students actually get their high school and two year college degrees at the same time.
Someone needs to sound the alarm about for-profit colleges. Some of these schools are saddling students with huge debts and student loans bills will follow you to the grave.
Hoop Dreams- Kids practice sports for countless hours with dreams of getting an athletic scholarship and turning pro. Yes, many young people stay away from drugs and kept their grades up to play sports. However, these activities are extracurricular with “extra” being the key. If these kids spent half of their practice time getting homework and studying, their situations would be more balanced. Also, great grades and SAT scores expands the number of schools that would be interested in you playing sports. Playing football at Duke, Davidson or Morehouse puts you in a network of alumni that is more beneficial than playing in the NFL for a few years.
Military Education Option- Many young people join the military to pay for college and we thank them for their service. Some wild college freshmen would have been better off with a few years of college first. 18 year olds who spend a few years in uniform get important job training, learn diversity from battle buddies and get to live on the other side of the nation and/or the world. Today, those military personnel have the opportunity to attend college online from a real university during their down time.
Networking/The Hustle- Let’s be honest, there are many, many holders of advance degrees in the poor house. One must get an education and turn that paper into a money-making career. Crafty people know how jobs are filled in an area and function accordingly—join the lodge, volunteer next to key community leaders. If the police and firefighters play softball in a certain league, you should dust off your glove and bat if you want to work with them. It’s not fair, but it’s often true.
“Everyone with pull attends that church.” On the other hand, leaders hire people they know well and if you grew up over the last 20 years as a positive member of a congregation with someone… that means something. Hey, Marines hire Marines. In the last 30 years, leadership position in a local school system was indirect related to H.R. directors who were members of two sororities. At the end of the day, some people know how to hustle up a job better than others and the sad part is that those others might have done a much better job. It’s a dirty game.
Straight To Work Option- Of course, some successful people went to work right out of high school and staying on some job until retirement. These people received on the job training and moved up over time. School is formal education but working in some ways covers the same material in a hands-on manner. If giving the opportunity, these people should still seek a two-year degree in their spare time because reading and writing well will open the door to mid-level management since no one wants to do the physical jobs at middle age. Of course, computers are on every job these days and some vocational training helps with technology.
Summary: Education and training could solve many community problems because people at school and work aren’t idled and involved in as much negative behavior.
A wise young man who wants to skip college should go to work at Dollar General or a similar business; be on time and ready to work hard with a smile; learn every aspect of shipping and receiving and move up to a well-paying plant when the opportunity arises. Oh yeah, he or she should butter-up the current employees of those major plants every chance he or she gets.
Agriculture is the biggest industry in Georgia but everyone doesn’t cotton to farm work. However, from seed to fork offers many careers for rural citizens—food and fiber processing, distribution, inspection. Once upon a time, we actually made textiles in this country.