The value of education often surfaces in trends and comes connected to economics. Learn more; earn more. We hear this so often that we tune it out or it becomes a background din.
Every once-and-a-while, I like the good, old-school "education makes a personal difference" story. I know these personal anecdotes or narratives aren't statistically representative; but, you can't underestimate the power of hard work and personal perseverance. One such story from the Austin Weekly News came across the wire this weekend: KIPP students heading to boarding schools
Brother and sister Darrionna and Darnell Barnes will enter Phillips Exeter Academy and Northfield Mount Hermon School respectively after completing the program at KIPP Ascend Charter School in Austin.
Their mom Catece Sanders wholly endorses the kids' drive and the opportunities of boarding life.
"I'm not nervous at all," she said. "They (schools visited) made me feel so comfortable that I could have left them there the same day. They were very attentive to our needs. I did not know what to expect but had expectations."
Her kids actually wanted to go to a boarding school and came to her with the idea. Sanders left it up to them to do the academic part while she researched the schools.
"Boarding schools also teach students that the sky is the limit," she said. "They teach them to be leaders."
If you're unfamiliar with the KIPP Program, please learn more about it. It's once of the great successes of education deregulation and charter schools.
From the KIPP website:
Welcome to KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program!
Who we are. KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 65 KIPP schools in 19 states and the District of Columbia serving over 16,000 students.
What we do. KIPP builds a partnership among parents, students, and teachers that puts learning first. By providing outstanding educators, more time in school learning, and a strong culture of achievement, KIPP is helping all students climb the mountain to college.
Why it matters. Every day, KIPP students across the nation are proving that demography does not define destiny. Eighty percent of our students are low-income, and 90 percent are African American or Latino. Nationally, more than 90 percent of KIPP middle school students have gone on to college-preparatory high schools, and more than 80 percent of KIPP alumni have gone on to college.
Visit www.kipp.org to learn more.