Two stu­dents, two views

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

thoughts but no no no, I could not voice them to the en­tire com­mu­nity; I was an in­ex­pe­ri­enced child to the adults in the room. Dur­ing a cof­fee break I ex­cit­edly pulled Carolyn aside and told her what changes I thought could be made to link the young peo­ple of the com­mu­nity to older gen­er­a­tions. She replied sim­ply with, “The next time peo­ple share, you must share.” Her ef­fort­less tone of en­cour­age­ment had me ques­tion­ing why I had not stood up be­fore. Yet, I quickly re­tracted my am­bi­tion, re­mem­ber­ing that I had only ever pre­sented to my peers in class. My look of dis­cour­age­ment prompted Carolyn to ex­plain the im­por­tance younger gen­er­a­tions hold for the fu­ture of com­mu­ni­ties. It all starts with ed­u­ca­tion.

It is dif­fi­cult to ex­plain the feel­ing you get after en­coun­ter­ing a sit­u­a­tion where some­one you look up to ex­presses ut­ter con­fi­dence in your voice and opin­ions. Carolyn did not think twice about en­cour­ag­ing me to share, did not ques­tion my ner­vous­ness and ap­pre­hen­sion, and did not take no for an an­swer. That day I did stand up, and since then, I do stand up.

I no longer back down from my own ideas and I be­lieve that ev­ery child in the world should be fu­eled with the same en­cour­age­ment Mayor Comitta gave to me. From men­tor to mentee, teacher to stu­dent, I be­lieve it is my turn to give chances to oth­ers, to hear them, and to en­cour­age them. As I con­tinue my ed­u­ca­tion in the field of in­ter­na­tional devel­op­ment, not a day goes by that I do not think about what the world would be like if ev­ery­one re­ceived a proper ed­u­ca­tion.

In­creased U.S. part­ner­ships with de­vel­op­ing coun­tries tar­get­ing the sup­port of ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems have re­sulted in brighter fu­tures, health­ier com­mu­ni­ties, and in­creased eco­nomic growth as the num­ber of out of school chil­dren around the world de­creases.

How­ever, we have re­cently seen stag­na­tion in this de­crease. Ed­u­ca­tion is a key com­po­nent to a pro­gres­sive fu­ture for chil­dren ev­ery­where: 5.9 chil­dren die be­fore their 5th birthday but sta­tis­tics have con­cluded that chil­dren of moth­ers with a full pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion are 40 per­cent more likely to sur­vive age 5. Ad­di­tion­ally, for ev­ery year of school a child com­pletes their fu­ture wage in­creases, on av­er­age, 10 per­cent. Chil­dren are the fu­ture of ev­ery com­mu­nity and it is time for the United States to ef­fec­tively en­cour­age oth­ers to come to this re­al­iza­tion.

The Ed­u­ca­tion for All Act (S. 3256) en­sures the U.S. govern­ment will con­tinue to de­velop a strong, co­or­di­nated strat­egy ac­com­pa­nied by rig­or­ous mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion ef­forts and a yearly re­port re­leased to Congress and the pub­lic. We ask Se­na­tors like Pat Toomey to re­flect our sup­port be­cause by back­ing this Act the U.S. an­nounces its com­mit­ment to en­sure ac­cess to qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion for chil­dren through­out the world.


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