I just finished reading the biography of Oprah Winfrey, the now "Media Queen", who was born in a lonesome Mississippi farm, and had a humble childhood, in which her mother was always out working as a cleaning lady, and she was sometimes left home alone playing with the cockroaches that scurried around the boarding house they lived in. Throughout the reading, I couldn’t help trying to find the connection between the little girl in the above mentioned gut-wrenching scene and the successful, confident, and glamorous lady shown on TV and magazines of today.
In 1987, Oprah endowed 10 scholarships to Tennessee State University where she graduated from, in honor of her father, who had always encouraged her to pursue an education, telling her it was the keystone to a successful future. Oprah’s story perfectly recounted what our textbook states, “A college education is the most reliable step for moving from a low-income to a middle-class and higher status”.
Another example would be Chinese immigrants. Of all the minor ethic groups in the U.S., Chinese immigrants are the rare species that managed to maintain a higher socioeconomic status. Traditional Chinese culture highly values the significance of education. From the early immigration in the 19th century in which the immigrant were mainly labor workers from southern China, to the most recent immigration that started from the 1980’s in which the immigrants were mostly highly educated professionals, higher education has been viewed as a necessary safeguard against potential racial discrimination and a means to reach affluent life for both the individuals and their families. All in all, it was education that helped Chinese immigrants make the connection, in the long process of assimilating into American culture.
Education is helping all of us sitting in this classroom make connections as well. For me, it helps me reach my career goal and fulfill my dream. What connections are you making through education?