Education: The Key to the American Dream Essay

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I was raised by different parents than my older siblings. They weren’t different parents biologically, they were different parents economically. For years they struggled to get by with very little education. But once their children were all in school, they decided to make a change. A few years before I was born, my parents earned their college degrees. What this meant for me was a world of security, provision, and opportunity that far surpassed that of my brother and sisters. My story is very similar to that of Angela Whitiker, a former single mother who effectively pulled herself and her family out of poverty by achieving her nursing degree. Her movement from the projects to the middle class is a feat to be admired. But what gave her such upward mobility? And why is it that in our society so many seem to lack it?
According to the national census 46.2 million people in America lived in poverty in 2010. That is up nearly 3 million from 2009 and the fourth year in a row that we find an increase (US Census Bureau). Those numbers and that trend are simply unacceptable. It is clear something must be done to raise families out of poverty. Something must be done to create in others that same kind of positive change and class movement found in Angela Whitiker. According to Class Matters, “Upward mobility requires… the twin pillars of success: human capital and social capital. Human capital is a person’s education, job credentials, and employability. Social capital usually means emotional support and encouragement from a reliable stakeholder in one’s life” (230). Angela Whitiker used these pillars to build a strong foundation that changed her family’s life. If we want to make more Angelas in our country and in our...

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...eb. 10 Mar 2012.
Perdue, Andy. "Ste. Michelle Estates pledges $1M for Richland wine center." Yakima Herald Republic[Yakima] 10 Feb 2012, 2B. Print.
"Poverty Highlights." U.s. census bureau. U.S. Cenus Bureau, 2011. Web. 3 Mar 2012.
"Projected Supply, Demand, and Shortages of Registered Nurses: 2000-2020." American Health Care Association. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Jul 2002. Web. 10 Mar 2012.
Shepard, Michael, Bob Crider, Spencer Hatton, and Karen Troianello. "Wine tourism doesn't stop at the winery." Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima] 21 Mar 2010, n. pag. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.
Snelgrove, Erin. "Local college students join the line for online classes." Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima]28 Oct 2009, n. pag. Web. 3 Mar. 2012.
Thrive by Five Washington. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan 2012.
Wilkerson, Isabel. “Angela Whitiker’s Climb.” Keller. 202-233. Print.

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