I had a friend who was a senior in college and decided to drop out. When I asked him why he made that choice, he attempted to explain to me how he ‘knew’ that as a black man in America, he would not be successful after graduating. I tried so hard to understand and sympathize with him, but I just could not. Every time I am roaming around the hospital in my scrubs, I am stopped and asked if I am a nurse; not a doctor, lab professional, or radiology tech. Well, that is simply because there are not enough women, let alone African American women, occupying those roles.
The reason many kids give up on pursing their dreams is because they do not believe they can accomplish them due to the lack of representation. I believe that we need many more leaders in the community who are women, minorities, immigrants, etc. who can display to younger generations the validity of hard work. The current state of America should not be an excuse to quit, that is a cop out; we must rise to the challenge.
I could not have graduated high school without my role models. I would not have graduated college without my advisors. Mentorship is so important and vital for success. When a group of seven-year old’s are asked what they want to be when they grow up, an equal number of boys and girls say that they want to be the next President. However, if you ask that same question to fifteen-year old’s, barely any of the girls have that same goal. When representation and leadership is missing, it is hard to believe that you can be ‘the first’.
We are in need of more teachers, judges, writers, film directors, and consultants who look like the many beautiful cultures that fill America today. That is the American Dream. Any goal is attainable if the dedication and determination is there. Will it be easy? Of course not. Nothing worth having is easy, but it is worth it. Reach out to a young person who is dreaming to do what you are currently doing. They need you, and the future needs them. The circle of life is a continuous cycle, but it begins with you. So, will you rise to challenge?
1 Peter 5:2 – ‘Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.’