People are naturally hungry to learn but they are faced with daunting barriers that inhibits them in acquiring a proper education. Among these hindrances are people’s mindset, lack of resources and lack of support. In this article, you’ll also learn how our organization addresses these to alleviate their position.
Our mind holds the power to our decisions and our beliefs guide us in venturing our chosen paths. This holds true even in our pursuit of education. Histories of opinions and norms have shaped our mindset into what it is today and it won’t be easy to change it.
While the rest of the world evolved and employed new technologies and systems, many continued living with the ideas from the past.
For some, formal education had been so inaccessible that it led them to believe they can never attain it. Oftentimes, these types of beliefs get passed down from generation to generation only to result into a vicious cycle of defeat, complacency and torment.
Common False Mindsets that hinders the pursuit of formal education from minorities
The failure mindset
Most of the people in the minority get very overwhelmed with the challenges they face everyday. Day by day they are paralyzed by their lack of privileges and their efforts to change their fate often results in disappointment. No wonder only a few manage to alleviate themselves and pursue their dreams. Most people decide to accept their life situation and believe that there’s nothing more they can do.
This kind of mindset often starts as a child and develops as they turn into adulthood. It can be acquired through the influence of people, school, internet and television. Based on our interviews and observations, people often feel helpless when they can’t participate in school at the level of their classmates. Due to that, most of them start to distance themselves from activities. They’re afraid to be labeled as an idiot they believe they are.
People in the minority are already met with several limitations as it is. Unfortunately, they make it even harder by wrapping themselves with excuses such as the above statement and consider it a fact. This is what we want to eradicate in their minds when we go to communities. We acknowledge their thoughts and try to inspire and empower them by making them realize the unmatched potential they have and how we are there to help them every step of the way.
Boxing people to their gender-based roles
Despite several advancements in women’s rights in the last decades, many in the minorities still have this mindset. Some of the factors that led to this are cultural beliefs, religion, family values and false practicality.
In our desensitizing programs, we shed some light in this matter and even present pieces of evidence that proves investing in women’s education is a good choice.
Lack of Resources
No matter how important education is for some people, they still can’t attain it if they can’t afford it. Acquiring formal education becomes only a distant dream for those who can’t even afford life’s basic necessities. This is especially true to people who need not only to provide for themselves but also for the other members of their family. They simply don’t have any resources left to invest on education. They are inundated with an endless cycle of limitations. They can’t have education because of poverty and they can’t get out of poverty because of their lack of education. This cycle continues for generations until no intervention is done. Our organization hopes to be the much needed intervention for these families. Through the programs we offer, we aim to give them the capability in bridging the skill gap and in becoming competitive applicants for jobs in the least amount of time.
Lack of support
Through the internet and awareness drives done by concerned groups, some youths eventually learn of the vast opportunities that can help them have a better future. They’ll try to strive the best they can to achieve everything on their own. This path is difficult and often gets delayed and derailed mainly because of the lack of support from parents, learning institutions and the community.
Youths having a new mindset doesn’t mean that their parents have one too. Proving a point or convincing your parents in doing unconventional ways can be challenging if not impossible. In our organization, we recognize this problem and tackle it firsthand by reaching families and not just an individual. We thoroughly examine and interview our applicants to know more about the unique difficulties they are facing and do our best to address them.
It is our parents who first hone our minds and beliefs. As a child, we accept their words as truth and not question them. For parents who have encountered countless failures and frustrations, it is only natural not to let their kids suffer like they did. They then proceed to ‘protect’ their children from the disappointment by prohibiting them from wanting more. In their defeated eyes they believe that not giving them hope is most beneficial to them. They make their children think that whatever they are planning on doing, they already tried. They know how it turned out. They’ve experienced how unfair life is and settled that that’s how life will always be. For us who can do more, we try to correct this mindset in the hope to make it easier for the youth in achieving their dreams.
Even with the availability of scholarships in the learning institutions, most low-income families still struggle to acquire the much needed formal education to alleviate their status in life. Most, if not all, scholarships are merit-based and require students to have high grades and a high aptitude for learning to continue benefiting from their financial help. These types of scholarships oftentimes fall on the hands of wealthy students rather than the poor. While it is important that the students acquire high grades, it must be considered that most of the students coming from the poor communities struggle with their studies caused by several factors.
- One factor is the capability and availability of their parents to guide them at home. Parents from poor families seldom have the opportunity of guiding their children on their assignments, test preparations, and projects. One reason for this is their lack of formal education themselves. Another is their lack of time for other matters other than earning money to feed their family.
- Students from low income families often have to juggle jobs to cover other education costs apart from the tuition. Being always tired and sleepy is not ideal for grades but they have no choice. Otherwise, they won’t be able to pursue their dreams and work their share for their family.
- Grades which are the measure in learning institutions don’t necessarily measure intelligence. Many things influence it such as submitting projects requiring money, attendance, activity participation, etc. Low-income families often score low to those aspects which then reflects to their overall academic performance reports.
Low-income students have this readiness gap, and it only grows as they get older due to the opportunities not given to them. In A Dream Foundation Inc., we acknowledge all of these and we try our best to close the gap true to their lives through the different philosophies and strategies we employ in our work as an organization.
Due to the rampant residential and economic segregation of communities, support from the neighborhood for school volunteer work can be very hard because most of the members of the community face the same problems. It is unlike in mixed neighborhoods where middle-class and wealthy families can augment the incapability of providing help to certain school events and tasks. We have been exposed to this problem and have witnessed its effects firsthand. The problem may look small but it greatly impacts the school and equally, the education of the children. Our organization not only targets families and individuals but most especially the whole community. We acknowledge the importance of community participation and the challenges faced by the poverty-stricken communities.
OUR CURRENT PROJECT
A Dream Foundation Inc. is currently working to empower and equip the people in the communities of DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties by providing necessary services and support that can close the capability gap of the community members with their counterparts in the same working age group who had formal education.
Some of our services include job placement training, in-demand skills training and coaching aimed to increase their earning capabilities.