Three for the Week

Saturdays are my time to reflect on what I read, heard, and discussed throughout the week. It is my “exit ticket” for the last seven days. So here are three ideas that made me think this week. (They are not in any particular order.)

I had this week’s Three for the Week written in my head when I woke up this morning. I knew exactly what I wanted to write and how I wanted to write it. Then I had the privilege of going out to dinner with a wonderful nineteen-year-old college student. This student grew up in rural poverty. Things haven’t been easy for her, but thanks to some breaks in life, she’s now attending a very good college with dreams of becoming a lawyer and having a greater impact on the world. Our conversation completely changed my three takeaways from this week. Here they are:

1 – There is an enormous opportunity gap in the United States, and it is happening in areas all across the country. Some of our students living in poverty are just as smart, if not smarter, than their more affluent peers. The barriers they face, and often their underfunded schools, make it harder for their brilliance to be seen.

2- Even if students are able to overcome their disadvantages, there are still so many factors they have to navigate and overcome. For a young student who grew up in poverty and has dreams of going to law school, there’s the expensive LSAT (Law School Admissions Test). You can forget the pricey prep courses to get ready for the LSAT that wealthier students can often afford to give them a leg up on law school admissions. It is a constant challenge to get ahead.

3 – The idealism and optimism of our younger generations is so refreshing and gives me so much hope for the world my daughter will inherit.  Despite the disadvantages this brilliant young woman has had to overcome, she still wants to help people. She wants to use the breaks she’s been given to go to law school and change the world. The odds were against her getting out of rural poverty and studying at a world-class institution of higher education, but I’d put money on her going out and changing the world.