Fighting poverty with education

Last Monday, I asked Carrie Hogan to present to my Social Problems class. It’s an interesting class: we talk about various social problems, on local and global scales, and try to come to terms with why we have problems in society–and what we can do about them.

Carrie’s topic was poverty. She’s qualified to speak on the topic, because she was a first-generation college student who successfully graduated and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer, working with College Possible. After that, she was employed by the YMCA of Downtown Milwaukee, helping coordinate their  Sponsor-A-Scholar program.

She talked to my students about how working with low-income, minority high school students transformed her. How the high school students she worked with simply came from poverty, and her job was to help brake that cycle of poverty through the vehicle of education. Specifically, she made sure the students she worked with had good writing skills, helped them prepare for their ACT exams, introduced them to the colleges they could attend, helped them get scholarships that would enable them to attend college… the list goes one.

Now she’s working with marginalized non-traditional students at Carthage College while getting a graduate degree at Marquette University in Higher Education, so she can continue her role as someone who uses education as a vehicle to fight poverty.

I believe in education because I believe in people like Carrie Hogan.

carrie hogan 2
Engaging students on a Monday night during a summer session is no small task. Carrie had them in the palm of her hand.

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