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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Importance of Mentoring

There is a saying that says, "It takes a village to raise a child." This is not just a cliche but rather a proven and necessary element for a child's success. The mentoring process can provide guidance for a child in the areas of life, education, career choices, etc. As adults sometimes we take it for granted but we all know that no one can succeed alone. We all need help and support along with the periodic nudge when we start to slack off from the things that make our goals attainable. These are all elements that make the mentoring process necessary for our young men and women to be successful in life as well as achieving their endeavors.

There has to be a process of raising the level of expectations for our youth today. We are in a age of instant gratification and the steps of working towards a goal have been eliminated in the lives of some of our youth. As a mentor we must instill that there are stages of progression which require work. We must nurture and guide this process for those whom we mentor. There has to be adherence to these steps for they will forever create life long learners and achievers. Allow me to share a real life example. The other day in Southeast D.C. I was mentoring and tutoring a male high school senior. He told me that he recently started to raise his level of expectations for himself because of the influence of mentors who expressed high hopes and expectations for him. Unfortunately this young male lost his mother at an early age to the streets. He was raised by his grandmother for a short time. He says that his grandmother told him that he did not have to get A's and B's for her to be happy or for him to be successful. She told him that as long as he earned C's he would be passing. So in turn he says that's what he aimed for....C's. He then lost his grandmother and moved in with his aunt who also expressed similar low expectations. It was when he was influenced by mentors that he realized that he can achieve higher. This young man has been accepted into college due to his hard work and dedication. He now says that he could have been accepted into more colleges along with receiving scholarships if he had higher grades early on. I encouraged him to still apply for scholarships now as well as every year that he is in college. He says that he plans to maintain a high GPA so that he can get more scholarships every year that he is in college. The power of mentoring can change lives just as it is transforming this young man.We need to take the opportunities within our families, neighborhoods, churches, civic organizations etc. to mentor a youth. Mentor a youth today.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Straight Talk: Higher Education: The New Bubble or Racket

Straight Talk: Higher Education: The New Bubble or Racket: Higher Education is part of the American Dream. We were told when we were in school that if you go to college and work hard that there would...

Straight Talk: Poverty and Education

Straight Talk: Poverty and Education: There has been an increase in child poverty in the United States and its affecting education. Whenever this topic is brought up some people ...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Media Fail of 2012

The News Media often referred to as the "Fourth Estate" or the 'Fourth Branch" of Government seem to have taken a turn for the worst in 2012. Media which shapes public opinion and has an influence on politics is suppose to be the Peoples' access to information that is true and accurate. In 2012 it seems that media has fallen prey to the feelings and opinions of the so called pundits and journalist. There are media outlets such as Fox News that seems to be an arm of the Republican party which spews out misinformation and lies against Presidents Obama and every Democrat that opposes the Republican agenda. This is not only limited to FOX but now it seems that other outlets that champions fair and balanced coverage such as CNN has taken on the ways of Fox news with not challenging the lies and misinformation as well as the continue spreading these lies. There has even been and infiltration of these practices by journalist and pundits on MSNBC which has sent its viewers into an outrage. How is this happening? What caused it?
Money has been called out as the culprit. Paid media? Yes, advertising is a billion dollar industry and has now become a part of the News outlets as well. This has allowed the lies and misinformation to be spread in the name of money. These are paid headlines and talking points. This has tainted the "Fourth Estate" which facilitated the process of the PEOPLE obtaining facts to make an informed decision on candidates, issues, and policies that affect their lives and the future course of America. The Power is with the People as we can see that there has been a push back of such misinformation and lies by fact checkers and social media outlets such as Twitter. you can sometimes get factual information faster on Twitter. You can also get facts checked from multiple sources which has become the Peoples filter of Lies and misinformation. So is Twitter and social media now the "Fifth Estate?" A necessary tool to create a balance that is beneficial for the People is needed and it seems appreciated. This new phenomenon has been a great push back to lies as well as a tool for the uninformed public. We the people must continue to press the Press for Truth and Facts. There is really Power in the People.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Higher Education: The New Bubble or Racket

Higher Education is part of the American Dream. We were told when we were in school that if you go to college and work hard that there would be a job waiting for you after graduation. You would be able to buy that home and car along with marrying and starting a family. Fast forward to 2012 and it seems like it is a "dream" deferred. College grads are not finding jobs therefore causing them to stay at home with parents along with student loan debt that they can't repay. The banks which were middle men in the student loan process made off like bandits leaving students with a "handsome Kings Ransom" of loan debt. The Universities have been noted to have inflated the tuition prices knowing that students and parents had the ability to take out student and parent plus loans. It has also been said that Universities were literally banking on the fact that parents could refinance on their homes especially during the housing bubble if necessary to finance their  kids education. Now as an option to seek further education or to escape repayment of loans is the emergence of the online programs. Students are pursuing masters degrees which puts current loans in deferment.  These programs are most times over priced thereby forcing the student to seek further loans which is deeper debt. So who is making money from education? Is it the student? The banks? The universities and online programs? The answer is clearly not the student.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Trayvon Martin Case: Race Revisited

The Trayvon Martin tragedy has cause  the conversation to arise on whether America is post-racial. This tragedy was caused by profiling which is rooted in racism. The fact that a large amount of African American surveyed feels that race caused this tragedy but only a small portion of Whites believe it was race induced screams polarization. We have to be honest as a nation that the ills of slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and other unfair institutional practices to African American and other minorities has had a long lasting effect that has not subsided. Some would say that racism does not exist because we have an African American President or that we have Blacks that are famous such as Oprah or Jordan. These are just individuals and should not be used to accurately describe the state of racial affairs in America. We can look at the disrespectful disdain from GOP members against the President. They have made racial remarks, racial cartoons, etc. in the media about an African American President. They have made threatening remarks about the President based on Race.
Every Black male know that we are judged by our color first in society. Women still clutch their purses when walking near Black men whether the men are college educated or not. These fears are based on racial stereotypes that are still played out in the media in 2012 although slavery was abolished in 1865. We are in denial if we say that racism does not exist. We have to face the problem with simple open minded discussion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Danger of Super Pacs

It has always been said that money can buy anything. We are seeing in 2012 something that has never happened in the history of this country. When the Supreme Court decided to allow Millionaires to donate relentlessly with no restrictions it open the flood gates for a bought election. The sad irony is that the American public who knows whats going on yet fall for these false ads and misinformation campaigns. Millionaires and Billionaires should not be allowed to control these elections because they do not represent the interest of the common American. Their interest would be to protect their wealth and in order to do that they have to maintain a poor class. Its simple economics and capitalism. If they are champions of capitalism and striving to maintain and grow their wealth it would make logical sense for them to implement systems that suffice this. This is just another example of money in politics. We already have the lobbyist and special interest groups carrying their suitcases full of money through the halls of Congress. Now we have the elusive Pac Men wielding their big millions into a candidate. President Obama called out the Supreme Court last year on this during is SOTU address  and one justice had the audacity and gall  to shake his head "no" as the President was saying that this was a bad idea. The question should be, "What was the motivation for this precedent being set? It clearly is not fair to the people of the United States of America.