• Inclusive Access to Education Impacts Economic Mobility

    by Disha Dave

    Graphic showing raised hands of varying flesh tones. Each has a heart on the palm.

    A great part of how we live our day to day lives is dependent on a number of factors from the area we live in, the schools we go to, to even things like the economy and the opportunities that are present to us. The McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility has published two insightful articles on the great importance and need for inclusive access to education and economic mobility for Black people.

    There is an overdue need for making sure there is equity in the opportunities given to Black people and people of color. Even though there are equal rights policies and changes in our system, it is still not fully equipped to take the people that were once pushed into the endless cycle of disproportional poverty and discrimination for generations.

    In Investing in Black Economic Mobility, Diane Brady and Shelley Stewart have an insightful discussion on racial equity and inclusive growth. With the recovery of the economy and economic mobility post-pandemic, racial equity and inclusive growth of businesses are the key driving factors in this change. This is much easier said than done as there have historically been gaps in Black economic mobility that put people at a disadvantage from the time of slavery to segregation, and to even present day, as mentioned by Stewart.

    Even though there have been changes instilled in our system to bring educational and social gains for Black people, the wealth gaps are still disproportionate as Black families are said to make only one-tenth of what a white family makes. With that being said, it is crucial to invest in Black entrepreneurships and businesses as a way to influence change in economic mobility and also to provide for Black communities as there is inequity in the opportunities presented to them in order to close the racial wealth gap.

    The article How HBCUs Can Accelerate Black Economic Mobility looks at the critical roles HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) play in bringing opportunities of growth for Black Americans, as well as growth it brings to the US economy. According to the article, HBCUs have an average annual attendance of about 300,000 students per year with more than 100 institutions across the nation that identify as an HBCU. Since HBCUs offer an abundance of scholarships and acceptances supporting low-income families, more Black students of all socioeconomic statuses are able to have the opportunities to go to college.

    HBCUs are one of the driving forces that can promote economic growth by expanding opportunities for Black workers, as well as opportunities for Black businesses and entrepreneurships. This connects to the previous article as this is a major way where Black people and communities are able to achieve more economic mobility as well as close the racial wealth gap.

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  • Towards a More Equal World

    by Mariam Ameha

    A graphic with the word ‘inequality’ and a pencil erasing ‘in’.

    Inequality and Injustice in Society 

    No one is a stranger to the constant bombardment of the news on the inequalities and injustices that Black Americans face in our society. These, of course, are not limited to the U.S; but what we often find is that even in these universally experienced issues, there is much left to be done to truly mend them and their causes. They are all issues deeply rooted into the nature of humanity, to the point where no matter what one does to overcome them, they seem to be brought back to life. Surface issues are given surface solutions, but these deep-rooted issues need a more structural approach. 

    A Change to the Better

    Spilled milk is spilled milk, no matter how much you huff and puff about it. The happy news is we seem to be less and less in a position to have to huff and puff. We are experiencing a spontaneous collective movement, no matter how limited in scope, that aims to reduce these inequalities and further a level playing ground for all, regardless of the color of their skin or the tongue they speak in.

    Private and public sectors are slowly but surely dealing with these structural issues. The private industry has recognized the losses caused by underinvesting in the black community, so there are now firms that have started utilizing the talent members of the community provide which uplift the black population in the U.S. Needless to say, education is at the core for these inequalities. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been playing a crucial role in improving the wellbeing of Black Americans.

    Uplift one, uplift all.

    Shelley Stewart from McKinsey and Company, one of many private companies joining the fight against inequality, beautifully put the value of this fight by framing the issue regardless of economic or ideological background. “No matter what your school of economic thought, everyone agrees that fostering human capital and investing in people to unlock productivity is one of the most available levers we have” noted Stewart. And it is that lever that makes all the difference for everyone. 

    Reference: How HBCUs can accelerate Black economic mobility

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  • Haven’t We All Been Home-Schooled?

    by Ana Cooper

    Two girls sit on a front porch bench holding first day of school signs. The front girl holds a Kindergarten sign and the older girl holds a Freshman sign. There is a tall stack of books between them.

    Before starting college, I was homeschooled my whole life. I sometimes feel homeschooled students face unfair stereotypes. However, that seemed to change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since almost every student and teacher in the world had to shift to remote learning, they got a taste of being “homeschooled”. Even then, some still have misconceptions concerning homeschoolers and homeschooling itself, so I’d like to share my experience.

    Homeschool is Not a Solitary Learning Experience

    On the contrary, homeschoolers get to spend more time with friends that they choose while doing recreational activities. Many local homeschooling communities provide field trips to museums, parks, historical sites, have yearbook committees, various clubs, and hold dances. Homeschoolers are very social and involved in their communities. Because homeschoolers are not age segregated, they often deal with multiple ages and personalities and have great interpersonal skills.

    Many Influential Figures Were Homeschooled

    Did you know that many of the U.S. Presidents and founding fathers were homeschooled? They have contributed extensively to society and put together the greatest country in the world. Thomas Edison’s mother homeschooled him because his schoolteacher said that Thomas was “addled”. Check out this list of other famous authors and scientists who were homeschooled: C.S. Lewis, Winston Churchill, J. R. R. Tolkien, the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, G. W. Carver, Booker T. Washington, Mark Twain, and Louisa May Alcott.

    Independent Learning is Embraced

    Homeschoolers are trained to be independent and active learners from an early age. Because they have to work independently, they develop the good study habits which carry them through college and beyond. In general, college freshmen can struggle with time management during their first semester, but many homeschoolers tend to have an easier transition because of their established habits. Many colleges these days seek homeschooled students because they know they can be successful. These same skills and qualities of active learners are carried into the workforce as well.

    Did I ‘Miss Out’ on a Traditional High School Experience?

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  • How to Discover Worthwhile Private Scholarships

    by Bethany Robinson

    Blog author Bethany Robinson stands holding a large scholarship check from the Rice Scholarship Foundation. Standing behind her are three members of the Rice family.

    The expenses of a college education place a heavy burden on families each year. This situation can be particularly difficult for those from middle-class families who do not qualify for Federal Student Aid. As someone whose family income is too high to benefit from income-based student aid and whose parents are not able to financially assist, I am required to cover the entirety of my college education. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I have found private scholarships to be a great source of college funding. Here are a few tips I have found useful in discovering worthwhile private scholarships.

    Getting Started

    For many, the search for private scholarships begins during their senior year of high school. The first step in discovering available scholarships is to search your local newspaper and create a list of community clubs and organizations. A few examples may include the American Legion, Kiwanis Club, and community councils. Now with your list, pull out a device, and enter “[Name of Organization] Scholarships” into the search bar. It is best to complete these searches during December and January as many deadlines take place in March and April. Collecting the application information and deadlines early provides you with enough time to analyze and answer the scholarship essay questions.

    Using Available Resources

    Universities generally provide an abundant quantity of scholarship opportunities for their students. My university has an Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to assist students in discovering scholarships. I recommend searching to see if your university has a similar office that can provide you with a list of private donor scholarships. Scholarship offices receive donations from companies, foundations, and organizations and then create scholarships with the donor’s preferred applicant qualifications. It is important to keep in mind that many scholarships specified for students with certain majors or activities will, on occasion, be awarded to applicants with partial or similar eligibilities. You would be surprised how many private scholarships go unawarded because of a lack of applicants.

    Typically, large colleges and departments will provide exclusive scholarships for their students. I originally discovered the existence of such scholarships through a flyer on a bulletin board in my university’s science department building. I advise glancing over such boards to discover information about scholarships as well as additional programs available to students on campus. Participation in clubs, research, and volunteer work will improve your scholarship applications.

    Start Applying!

    Now that you know where to look for private scholarships, start applying now! Remember to take the proper measures in checking you have answered all the necessary questions and completed the entire application before submitting. I wish you the best on your future scholarship applications!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

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  • Pearson Students Partner with Beautifully Loved

    by Megan Cistulli, McKinley Falkowski, and Gloria Wang

    Six young female cancer patients are smiling and sitting on a couch. They are wearing make-up and dress-up clothes.

    “I’m gonna be ugly, Mommy.” The first words out of a six-year-old girl’s mouth as she sat in a hospital bed when she found out she had cancer and was going to lose all of her hair. Everything changed when she met the team from Beautifully Loved at a volunteer event at Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center.

    After getting permission from her doctors and having the Beautifully Loved beauty teams gear up in protective clothing, the young girl, in isolation getting chemotherapy, received a pamper treatment. At the same time, her mother received a hair and makeup treatment from the beauty teams. The mother stood up after receiving her makeover and glanced at her daughter who just received the pamper treatment. As she stared at her daughter’s face which was covered with a sparkling smile from ear to ear, she said, "You have no idea how important the work you [Beautifully Loved] are doing is for kids like her." She started crying tears of joy as she embraced her daughter. 

    Pearson Student Programs annually partners with a non-profit organization or hospital to create positive impacts in our local communities. Last year, we supported Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and collected over $5000 worth of gifts from an Amazon Wishlist. This year, Pearson Student Programs and the student-led Social Impact and Sustainability Team is supporting Beautifully Loved, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. Beautifully Loved supports families with children who are battling chronic illnesses by offering pamper days, photography, clothing support, self-esteem workshops, design programs, fashion events, and care packages. 

    The team created an Amazon wishlist to donate items which Beautifully Loved volunteers use to create care packages for the families they serve. In order to match and hopefully surpass last year’s positive social impact, we have more work to do. Join us in supporting Beautifully Loved as they continue to uplift and empower children and their families by showing them that they are truly beautiful—both inside and out. 

    To learn more about Beautifully Loved, please visit beautifullyloved.org.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

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  • Making the Most of Your Internship Experience

    by Sydnie Ho

    The entrance to General Mills headquarters in Minnesota on a sunny day featuring a green lawn, trees and shrubs alongside the General Mills sign.

    So, you finally landed that internship you’ve been working so hard to get. You have done the hard part by getting the offer – now it’s time to actually start the job! Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to make the most of it.

    Ask questions and be curious

    Asking questions is crucial to optimize your learning during your internship. Employees understand you are an intern and are there to grow and learn. They except you to not know what you are doing at first, so don’t feel like you are being bothersome or asking to many questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question! Take advantage of your time and ask all the questions.

    Take initiative

    There will be moments during your internship where you don’t have much to do or are having to wait on people to complete something. Take this time to take initiative and show people how active and willing to learn you are. This skill is something employers look for and is a great time to put into practice.

    Communicate with your manager

    I’ve learned how important this is during my last internship. I found that the project I was working on was not what I wanted to do or what I wanted to learn. I learned that it never hurts to speak up and say something. I was able to communicate with my manager about what I wanted out of this experience, and she was happy to work with me on a new project.

    Connect with other employees

    Not only are you there to work, but you are there to learn about the company and see if it would be a good fit for your future. The best way to learn about the company is talking to its people! Set up coffee chats, talk with people in roles you want to learn about, and take advantage of being an intern. Learn about the pros and cons of the company, how people like living in that location, and what made them chose to work there.

    Learn what you want in a full-time role

    As a rising senior, it has been important for me to learn about what I want in a full-time role. What would be salary be? What are the benefits? Is there room for career growth? Promotions? Ask about entry level roles, company structure-- everything! This is a great way to learn about what you like and don’t like so you can take it into your full-time job search later.

    However you chose to spend your internship experience, make the most of this learning opportunity! Even if it doesn’t turn out how you hoped it would, it’s a great resume builder and opportunity to learn about what to look for next.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

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