by Eric Cortes
As the United States continues to grow sometimes I have to ask myself, “Are we preparing our youth to continue their education?” Are we even teaching them the skills to enter the workforce? The answer might simply be no. Budget cuts here, teachers getting fired there, it seems that no one has an interest in our future. But thankfully there are national programs which help educate emerging leaders.
For the past couple of months NBC News continued to evolve its program in education and taking it on the road. Education Nation is NBC News’ initiative to engage the country in solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America. The tour stopped in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia t talk with educators, students, parents, and civic and business leaders to find out how they are working to improve education in their community
Earlier this week business leaders took to the stage at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to discuss the workforce. Business executives and civic leaders (including Tony Bartolomeo, Lisa Nutter and Rosemary Turner) talked about the importance of educating America’s students to compete in a global economy. What skills do today’s students need to join tomorrow’s workforce? How can we better prepare our students for 21st Century jobs? Engagement was one answer. Other comments during the event included, “finding your identity,” and “provide internships and retention.” Easier said than done, right?
Telemundo also has a similar program called El Poder de Saber, which promotes the advancement of higher education within the Latino community. Telemundo talent, such as Dra. Ana Maria Polo, Maria Celeste and Jose Diaz-Ballart, created PSAs which spoke about the “power of knowing” including health and family issues. It’s hard to believe that some colleges/universities promote diversity yet don’t recruit enough minorities. Guess they don’t know about “el poder de saber.” I say, DO MORE like the school in Los Angeles that is using Twitter to educate their students, a method that improves the educational system at a low cost.
We are making progress, “The percentage of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in high school and don’t have an equivalent degree was 22 percent in 2008, down from 34 percent in 1998. Meanwhile, the number attending a 2-year college increased 85 percent, from 540,000 in 2000 to 1 million in 2008.” This is all thanks to available scholarships, programs like Teach for America, new technologies, and the aforementioned initiatives that NBC and Telemundo promote. But we can do more; you can do more.
To learn more about Eric, visit hisPanic2050.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.