We keep talking about, “Out Of School ” time. We keep talking about keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble. This view of young people is outdated, condescending, pessimistic, insulting, and discriminatory. The safest place for a child to be after school is at work! That is a topic for another discussion. I’m putting ink to paper to talk about, ” In School” time. Every child attending school has the opportunity, responsibility, and resources to walk away with $250,000 – $400,000 of college money!
To unburden parents and relatives of investing $250,000 – $400,000 for a young person’s 1st college degree is more acheiveable now than any other time in our history. That money would make a person be considered rich, not wealthy, rich in over 90% of the countries on the planet. $250,000 – $400,000 is a family fortune!
The thing about scholarships is you only get one chance at them! This type of pressure can be bared by an individual, but is easier when there are parents, relatives, and other supportive relationships. Many will point out that these are children with no legal responsibility for families, rent, cars, food, etc. It is unrealistic and unfair to ignore the many children that are raising families, providing care for loved ones, and go to school! We do them a disservice by not telling them about the family fortune they could give to their parents and the family fortune they could bring to the next generation by keeping their scholarship. With out it, they will have to pay, borrow, or beg their way to a higher education.
Young people should be made to understand that, ” In School ” time is a high paying job and that they shouldn’t leave school until they can make more money than school will pay! In every other industrialized country in the world, a formal education is supposed to last 15 – 20 years, not 12!! Higher education is a need that improves the lives of the grandparents and the grandchildren. We all prosper when it is no longer viewed as an option or a luxury. I think if kids had a better explanation of their opportunities, circumstances, and power they would seldom choose an existence of staying off the streets and out of trouble over an adventure to protect and secure the family fortune!! I say secure and protect because when talked about properly, a scholarship is not something you earn, it’s something you keep! In today’s scholarship environment, you have to lose it through disobedience, obstinance and ignorance.
You need 3 things to keep your scholarship prospects alive and well; 1.) Straight A’s,( a “B” will never be accepted). 2.) Something you’re good at besides academics, and 3.) You must have demonstrated an ability to work with and gets results for adults. You need to accomplish this for the period of time you want the scholarship. If you want a 4 year scholarship, you must have a 4 year record of excellence. Going on to a, ” Masters “, then you need 6 years. Going on to a, ” PHD “, then you’ll need 8 years. They’ve got until freshman year of high school. Any consistent excellence after that time will require something extraordinary to compete with other applicants!
Teach your child to think of themselves as a seasonal employee that get’s paid year round! many seasonal workers choose to get paid over 50 weeks instead of just during the season/seasons they work. A school season starts with 52 weeks. They get 12 weeks off for the summer, 2 weeks for Christmas, 1 week for Easter, 1 week for Monday holidays, and 1 week for meetings and weather. So they work 35 weeks per year. Simple math says that $240,000 – $400,000 divided by 4 equals $60,000 – $100,00 per year. That divided by 50 equals $1200 – $2000 per week whether they are physically at work or not, as long as all the work gets done. If we break it down even further and divide by 50 hours a week, a child pursuing a scholarship is earning $24.00 – $40.00 per hour!!
Every child labor law in this country is there to prevent kids from being tricked into a pay cut. Remember, child labor laws restrict the number of hours you can work for someone else, not the number of hours you can work for yourself! Until the age of 18 young people have 3 sources of income… their scholarship, their job/entrepreneurial opportunities, and their parents! We all have a duty to protect and achieve youth scholarships!
When youth don’t exhibit good scholarship awareness we all lose. Most scholarships are lost because of rebellion, ignorance and hypocrisy. The kids rebel and as a result become ignorant of their true opportunities. If they’d been doing what the adults have been asking, pleading, and begging them to do over the last 7, 8, or 9 years, none of them would be thinking that they have to, “earn” a scholarship. It’s not realistic to think there will ever come a time where there is 100% scholarship participation. It would be nice if young people thought of successful entrepreneurship as the only acceptable alternative to keeping their scholarship. ” No, I didn’t earn a full scholarship, but I was earning in excess of $100,000 per year when I decided not to go to college!”
Hypocrisy: Look at our schools, our teachers, our out of school time programs, our religious leaders, and political leaders. Do we really expect young people to believe that they are engaged in a $24.00 – $40,00 an hour activity with the working conditions and leadership we provide them on their road to scholarships? Are the attitudes and cultures we give them to work in a reflection of the family fortunes they represent? Do we apologize and show empathy to the increased difficulties they must face as a result of the poor working conditions they endure? Parents, relatives, and their support network must quite often repair or undo the damage caused by people’s scholarship mischaracterizations, low expectations, institutional pessimism, and socioeconomic biases!
Thank your child everyday for their efforts to take care of the family fortune! Talk to them daily, weekly, and monthly about how much their time is really worth to you, their grandparents, their children and grandchildren.
P.S. When the smart ones say that over 8 years, that’s only $12.00 – $20.00 an hour, tell them, ” Yes, but we’ve included free room & board, clothing, transportation, utilities, computer, cell phone, gas card, work equipment, and entertainment!” LOL