My Vision ! I met a girl this winter who moved my heart. Her name was Tiya, she is 14 and living at the Bethany House, a women? s shelter where I was volunteering. Her mothers unstable and, at times, unsafe lifestyle, Tiya was forced to move around from state to state. She had been held back a few years in previous grades and was still in the 7th grade. While my cousin and I were cooking a Sunday dinner for the ladies in the shelter, Tiya came in to help and we had a long, heart-breaking, conversation.
I told her “you know Tiya, you can get out of this, leave this life behind; you just need to work as hard as you can in school”. She replied with a simple “no I can? t, I don? t have what it takes”. She doesn? t believe in herself, because she has no one who believes in her. ! Children born into unstable families or families dependent on welfare are born into one of the biggest injustices in this country. Girls become single mothers at such young ages, and welfare is their only resource to turn to.
What these girls/families need isn? t just money, they need help. Raising a child is a very hard job for a 15/16 year old to accomplish alone and with the teen-pregnancy percentage so high in this day and age, we should be doing something more to help single mothers, prevent these pregnancies and stop the cycle of families being dependent on welfare. ! “Welfare is an addiction, no different from those who become dependent on drugs, alcohol, gambling or other controlling factors” (Madison Journal Today).
In the United States any person on welfare/food stamps is looked upon as lazy and uneducated because they are receiving hard-earned tax payer dollars. It is not the people to blame for receiving this money effortlessly, it is the government. ! The efforts I? ve seen work for other “at risk” groups have been by people who have experienced the same challenges and therefore can relate. Our countries political policies are out of touch and maybe over-educated. Ask a soldier how to deter war, he might have better ideas than a four star general.
We need more boots on the ground so to speak. Community centers, careers institutes or something similar. These can be funded by our government. “Who? s in charge ? ”, you ask. I? m thinking of a brand new approach. Yes, these programs still need the psychologist P. H. D? s but they also need to send the right personalities. By this I mean people who grew up with similar experiences. This would not only create jobs for future social workers but also an incentive to be trained in this area. How is the pay? Presently, not good and this would be the key political move.
Social Workers need to be payed accordingly for their hard work. How does politics move forward? With education, grass roots activism and government action. ! Next fall I will be majoring in Political Science at Howard University and I hope that this degree will give me the tools i need to ? x these programs. The same systems have been in place for so long and it is time for an updated one to come into action. I know that there is a solution to be made in the future and I can? t wait to be apart of the solution.