Open Door Policy
I just read a really inspiring New York Times Article: Elite Colleges Open New Door to Low Income Youth
It chronicled a growing acknowledgment that providing opportunities to low income students to enter "selective" programs--which are typically dominated by more affluent individuals--provides excellent opportunities for social mobility for the working poor and poverty stricken.
This isn't the first article that I've read about traditional academic powerhouses, including Ivy League Schools, opening their doors to talented lower income students. However, it struck a bright chord with me because I've just finished reading Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's compelling non-fiction account of 2 Hispanic families in the Bronx during the rise of the drug epidemic during the late 80s and that continued to plague the 90s (Random Family).
The book realistically portrayed how it is to survive on meager incomes, in the worse neighborhoods in the country, with little support and/or guidance. The book was great yet bleak.
So coming off of reading the book, this article is exactly what I needed to read. I needed to feel that some do escape, that some can aspire to the American dream, instead of a life of frustration and poverty.
So reading this article was just what I needed. It really focused on something that I've said to people many times: socioeconomic factors can often be more powerful influences than age, sex, race, or sexual orientation. Seeing doors opened to give these kids the opportunities to pull themselves, and hopefully their families, from the same environments (breaking the cycle), is all that one can ask for.
I suppose this is the new Affirmative Action. I'm sure it will have it's share of critics as well. I hope that individuals like Mr. Jack will make people open their minds and that such programs become common place in this great country.