Two students, two views
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.