Is it possible to live a life of no regrets? I don't think so. When I look back on my life there are many things that I wish I would've done and many that I wish I would've done differently. At the same time, I look at what I have today and I am grateful. Grateful for the path that brought me to where I am today. With that said, I am happy about where I am. Is it a perfect life? Not by any means. Are there challenges? Of course. The more important question to me? Is it a happy life? I can say YES without a doubt.
With school graduations happening across across the globe I remember being told by my high school counselor that I needed a certain grade in English to graduate. My first thought was "I am a dead man!" You see, my parents were big proponents of education. I wasn't hearing that though. I was all about being out and doing things that were not education related. Long story short, I did not put education first. I was accepted to a university outside of the state which was a good move for me because it took me away from an environment that may have swallowed me. I noticed very quickly how behind I really was in school. I was playing catch up while most were working on their desired career fields and talking about their futures. Soon the new fits and the new kicks didn't seem as important anymore. I'm lying. It was a good move for me though. New friends and a new perspective. I grew up quick...Oakland attitude and all.
Today there are so many challenges that our youth face that distract and deter from making education a priority. Living in a very 'white' community, pursuing higher education is just what you do. However in contrast, when I am visiting home, getting ready for the next function seems to be of greater importance and takes on a higher priority than education. We'd like to change that.
In the very near future, IKUNA will roll out a program that will help our youth stay focused and recognize their dedication to education. When I look back at the sacrifice of my parents to get to America, words really cannot describe the feelings I have. I am certain that many of you share those same feelings. Their challenge wasn't hard work or desire, it was the limited knowledge and information they had past getting their kids to the door of the school. There are so many intricacies to the education system regarding grade point average, test scores, admission requirements, scholarships, financial aid availability, etc.The list goes on! Add to that the study and homework habits that need to be embedded before one even gets to the 9th grade when it actually starts to count! Now add the extracurricular activities we think we need our kids to be involved in PLUS the pressures of today's environment.
For those of us who are first generation high school graduates, college graduates, graduate degree graduates, and doctorate graduates. It is now our responsibility to use what we know and make sure our youth are better than we are. If our youth are to succeed in this cutthroat environment and have them live the lives we always hope and dream for then EDUCATION must be a priority. Education is King.
Our parents did their jobs and took us as far as they could, now it's time for us to take our youth further.
Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ”
We add to this our motto: Overcome. Achieve. Victory. - IKUNA