Fredrick Douglas once said, "some know the value of education by having it. I know it's value by not having it."
Confession: I dropped out of high school. By the time I did, it was probably the right decision. I had already failed sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grade and I was on my third time repeating that when my Dad and I finally pulled the plug. I had been so uncommitted to working for so long that it seemed it was impossible to change course and make up for lost time. What I wasn't prepared for is the downward spiral that my life would take when I had no school left to go to. But that's not the point of this writing.
The fact that the U.S. drop out rate is around 16% should serve to tell that our modern education system doesn't work for everybody. That being said, an 84% graduation rate - even with all its inherent flaws - is still great for more than most students. As for me, I have no one to blame for my lack of success in school but myself. I've learned to be thankful for MY mistakes in MY past. Well, most of them anyway. And in the years since I quit school, I've learned the value of education but mostly by going to places that don't have the access and opportunity to education that each person has in these United States.
In Haiti, education is not a right in the sense that we understand it. Education is not free. Both public and private education must be paid for individually. And while the cost is fairly insignificant in our economy (the average student in the Beaudouin Community can attend a year of school for $60 in total) most school-age youngsters in that community are not students. They simply cannot afford to be.
I've seen firsthand, both in my own life and in serving this community for over 8 years now, the societal ills that accompany a lack of being educated: mental, emotional scars, a lack of purpose and identity, a lack of community. Feeling like the school bus took off and left you in the dust. In just the last 24 hours, I learned of two high-school-age girls in the Beaudouin community that have run out of money to attend school. They are sitting at home likely to fall victim to the societal ills that poverty can bring unless people who have the ability to do something about it.
Will you partner with us? We're raising $3000 this year to send 40 students from this community to school. This amount will cover the cost of their tuition, all their supplies, as well as our administrative costs to run this program at City of Lights. If you'd like to give, you can do so on our site directly or through our GoFundMe campaign.
Give thru our Website: www.cityoflightscoffeeco.com/education-project
Give thru GoFundMe: gf.me/u/ybvjnb
Thanks in advance,
Co-owner, City of Lights Coffee Co.