DC might be one of the worst places an economically disadvantaged child can be raised in America today.
The school system is overwhelmingly economically disadvantaged… 77%??
Alone, this isn’t a problem as long as there’s social mobility.
But they’re graduating into the absolute most segregated labor force in the whole country.
DC kids are graduating from high school into a city where the majority of the graduates have over a 700 percent greater likelihood of unemployment, only when measured by ethnicity.
If disparities in unemployment rates between two major groups is a measure of greed, then DC might just be the greediest place in America.
With this real data in hand, think again and more critically about what guidance is being given regarding college and career.
Scrutinize and evaluate the outcomes, using national aggregate data. And when a better way is identified, expect for people to have excuses behind why it won’t work.
The reality is high achieving economically disadvantaged young people in DC are simply less likely to have someone else to take on the financial risk to allow them to use their skills, than any other place in the country.
Yes, acquire top skills.
But to use those skills, DC kids are simply more likely to be required to use their skills as independent scientists. And this is a perfectly honorable way to contribute to society. But requires some degree of preparation, per your motivation, expectations, psychology and mindset.
At least until the evidence shows employment and wealth disparities have decreased, DC kids will need to be more creative about how they pursue economic opportunities.
They’ll need to think more deeply about how to leverage family.
DC has the highest median student loan debt per resident of all States.
If there’s concomitantly an 8x higher likelihood of unemployment among many economically disadvantaged people, consider the reality of these risks on loan repayment.
Consider your vulnerability to these risks. Consider the impact of higher default rates on your economic well being.
DC kids can’t control how money gets distributed throughout the economy.
But they can make decisive and accessible choices that put them at a lower risk of hardship.
Of course, self motivation only goes but so far.
Economic development must become a responsibility of each and every person who lives in DC.
While there’s nothing wrong with being economically disadvantaged as long as there’s social mobility, there’s also nothing wrong with being rewarded for one’s scholarship and innovation, as long as the rewards go to people who have a commitment to selfless morality.
Presuming we may be on the verge of some major shifts in momentum towards philanthropic investments and capital is seeking to go where it’s needed most, now just might become one of the best times to be a young student in DC.
With your active contributions and participation, be prepared for a surge of successful metrics and outcomes to come from young people in DC and similar cities across America.