RVA Parenting: Marcy Williams talks about being homeless, not ha - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

RVA Parenting: Marcy Williams talks about being homeless, not having an education

(WWBT) -

Marcy Williams talks about being homeless and not having an education.

Have you ever taken a close look at the kids in your high school or college?  I don’t mean their clothes or hair.  No, not their ethnicity or race.  Not even their sexual orientation or religion.  Have you ever stopped to think that 1 out of every 10 kids you see are considered HOMELESS?  Yes, it's true.  "In 2009, 47,204 college students applying for financial aid checked a box that identified themselves as homeless."

Here are some startling statistics:

  • Key Data Concerning Homeless Children and Youth
    • 39 percent of the national homeless population are children (Martha Burt et al, Helping America's Homeless, p.47)
    • 42 percent of homeless children are under 5 years of age (U.S. Department of Education, Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program Report to Congress, Fiscal Year 2000)
    • Of the 42 percent, only 15 percent are enrolled in pre-school (U.S. Department of Education, Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program Report to Congress, Fiscal Year 2000)
    • 38 percent of the homeless population have less than a high school degree by age 18 (Burt, Helping America's Homeless, Emergency Shelter or affordable press? pg.87)
    • 50 percent of the homeless population report dropping out of school during the course of their education (Aron, Burt, Douglas, Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve)

Since homeless college students don't have an appropriate studying and resting environment and lack basic school supplies, approximately 50 percent of the homeless population report dropping out of school during the course of their education, according to the National Law Center On Homelessness and Poverty.

I guess you’re wondering why I’m sharing this with you – its, simple – KNOWLEDGE.

We take for granted our situations and in particular the availability of a good education.  The fact of the matter is there are thousand’s of young people wanting and desiring an education, but due to their financial situation, cannot afford to even buy a book.  Sure, we hear about kids in Africa and 3rd world countries all the time, fighting wars for education; Women in other countries who are beaten for even thinking about school.  Well, we have kids right in our own backyards, scraping and scrounging for an education,  some of which cannot afford a meal but are willing to sacrifice a burger for a book.

I want you all to realize that getting an education is a privilege – it is not owed to you and is not your “right as an American citizen” – it's just the right thing to do for our people.  There are laws that advocate for education, but there is very little done to mandate it by getting the people off the street and give them training or education.

So, I want you all – those that have your “education”, kids that are seeking training, college, tech, or whatever training you are pursuing to stop and think about those that cannot get an education.  Then I want you to value what you do have and finally think about how you can give back.  It takes a village raise a child and 1 person to save millions.  Think about it!

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