How Poverty and Poor Education Affects Life

Getting an education is considered a blessing too many, in America many of us believe that everybody should get equality when it comes down to education, but is that really the case? I believe that education is something that many of us take advantage of, especially when you are a kid and you think your education is free and you dread waking up early in the morning for school. Though, when you grow older we are glad that we have received an education and we can contribute to new technology, or we have the opportunity to create a top selling novel, learn about the history of the world, or just knowing why the sky is blue. We all know, and if you don’t you should, that many of the poorer regions in the world don’t receive a proper education, but could living in a poorer region of the United States of America affect your opportunity for education? I hold this to be true.

Many of us believe that we can accomplish just about anything when we set are minds to it, but does this inspirational quote fluctuate when you are poor? Poverty perpetuates poverty and the reason for this is that poverty provides the factors preventing proper education in America (Jayashanker, 2009). Public taxes are mostly funded by property taxes, so if the houses cost less, that means less funding for computers, good teachers, books, and anything else a school need in order to thrive. Also people with money can also obviously hire private tutors. When the No Child Left Behind act was passed in 2002 by George W. Bush, it awarded the schools that preformed better then other school, by awarding them with a source of supplies and materials, while schools that performed unwell, were punished by less funding to the school. I believe that the NCLB act was not reasonable, because the schools that perform better are usually the schools that are in higher income areas, I believe this act was another reason why poorer people receive less education.

Poverty also could have other negative affects on an individual such as; absence of health care, the consumption of less nutritious food, the on going influence to join a gang, or desperate attempts to make money such a robbing and selling drugs. At the same time I do realize that being rich could also have it negative affects such as a less strive to receive and education, because they may feel that they don’t need to, because everything is already given to them on a silver platter, but I believe this to be true to the ones that were spoiled. Bad influences are all around in poverty areas, or the “ghetto”, these “bad influences” will usually convince the children in the ghetto region, to do things that severely impact their education, which just adds to the ongoing cycle where the rich stay rich and the poor remain poor. I found a study on www.virtualcap.org, the found statistics that show children living in poverty areas that there 2 times as likely to repeat a grade, 3.4 times as likely to be expelled from school, being a dropout from the age of 16-24 were 3.5 times as likely, and the chance of them from graduating from a four year college was cut in half.

Poor education in children does not just affect them; it affects the rest of the nation. “Child poverty costs the U.S. about $500 billion a year, the equivalent of nearly 4 percent of the GDP (the total market value of all the goods and services our country produces)” (Baer, 2010). “Poverty puts children at an unfair disadvantage for future opportunities (Defining Poverty and Why It Matters for Children, 2005)”. I believe that children who are living in poverty areas are lacking the inspiration because of there economic conditions, so I wanted to talk about the story of Oprah Winfrey whose story inspired me to go to college and get an education, and also to strive to become financially successful.

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Oprah Winfrey was born to a 13 year old mother, In Kosciusko, Mississippi. While growing up she said she learned how, “to turn misery to wisdom”. She first grew up with her grandmother on a pig farm with no running water. “She then lived with her mother who moved to Milwaukee where she was sexually abused for the first time by a friend of her family and her own relative (Best Inpirational Stories, 2009)”. Oprah Winfrey, at the age of 14, gave birth to a baby boy, but unfortunately he died a week later. Her mother lost her patience with young Oprah, the result of this was the punishment of sending her to live with her dad.

While living with her dad she learned discipline and learned how to use her great intelligence, from potential to kinetic use. At school she was know for her intelligent speaking and she received a scholarship at Tennessee University. She majored in broadcast communication and she scored a job as a reporter at a Nashville TV station. “Oprah left school at the age of 19 years old to become the first Afro-American woman broadcaster in Nashville (Best Inpirational Stories, 2009)”. She made various amount of mistakes at her new job, she felt exhausted all the time. The Nashville station management team didn’t like her attitude towards the camera; too, on top of that, they didn’t like her “appearance”. “They complained about her hair style, her big nose and the distance between her eyes. Tempted to glamourize her appearance, they sent her to a good salon in New York which did a disastrous remodeling that made her hair fall off (Best Inpirational Stories, 2009).

She was ranked down from a TV boardcaster to a presenter of the show called “People Are Talking”, which was basically a talk show for housewives. After seven years of presenting the show “People Are Talking”, she gained the attention of a station in Chicago. They offered her to be the host of there show called “A.M. Chicago”, in basically a month she made the show “A.M. Chicago” to one of the most viewed shows in Chicago. In 1985 the “A.M. Chicago Show” was rename “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, and it began to be nationally broadcasted. Oprah said, “Failure is the way God chooses to remind you that you are on the wrong track”. Despite her troubled childhood the Oprah Winfrey show is one of most nationally viewed shows today. Oprah Winfrey is now estimated at an astonishing $2.4 billion dollars, according to Forbes Magazine.

Oprah’s story was inspirational to me, and I hope for many others, to succeed in life. I believe when growing up in a ghetto region there are many roadblocks on receiving a superb education and go to a good college, but this is not impossible, nothing is considered impossible now-a-days, especially in America. It is relevant that as a country we need to break out of the cycle of poverty. Anne C. Lewis suggested that low levels of an individual’s literacy will usually result in low paying jobs. Anne C. Lewis suggests four steps in leading individuals out of the cycle of poverty. “For young children already in the system, educate their parents, especially the mothers, to the hilt. The educational level of mothers is the most important influence on the educational attainment of children (Lewis 186). Adults need to take advantage of educational programs that are sponsored by the schools.

The second step is, “for welfare mothers (most of them teenagers) who must now make it in the job world, combine educational and contextual training. This means direct education for meaningful job goals. Cognitive researcher Thomas Sticht, drawing on results from the military, business, and education, argues that young people can learn basic skills best when education is embedded in job preparation (Lewis 186). It has been proven that improved literacy skills can raise their productivity levels in the workplace, while it can also increase your child’s vocabulary. The third step is to implant the idea of going to college in the child’s head as early as you can, according to a survey by Educational Longitudinal, students who have thrive to go to college in 8th grade were much more likely to graduate.

The fourth and final way to break out of the ongoing cycle of poverty, according to Anne C. Lewis, is to start the development of literacy in the child as soon as they are born. Young parents from poor circumstances ought to leave the hospital as participants in support networks that will help them develop the language abilities of their babies. That support should be consistent and continuous until the school system becomes a partner with parents (Lewis).

So basically what I’m trying to say is that poverty does have its severe impact on an individual’s education, but even though it may be harder for a child from the ghetto regions of Los Angeles, California to receive an equal amount of education then a person living in Beverley Hills, California. Just remember that is nothing is impossible in American, and a college education is available to almost anyone! This quote helped me with my education, and I wanted to end my conclusion with this quote, and it states, it’s not about stuffing people’s minds with knowledge. It’s something inspirational and more…. It’s about instilling a love for learning. It’s about educating kids from your heart. It’s about teaching others and oneself to learn from mistakes. It’s about encouraging one to have the courage to lead one’s life, and about helping others to raise to a higher level of awareness. When you choose to educate with a heart full of love, what you can do will reach far beyond what you can ever imagine.

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