Self Advocacy

Whether an individual enters college straight from high school, or goes back to school later in life, college exposes students to how their world functions around them: from top issues at the global stage, to local issues in their neighborhood and city. Students begin to learn:

  • about the laws, elections and the policy makers at every level;
  • who is a mover and a shaker and why; and
  • what a person can do to help or influence a particular cause at every level.

College teaches critical skills such as the ability to think analytically, speak eloquently and persuade others, skills that will serve them well in their advocacy efforts and throughout their lives.  As a result, college education remains the best investment a student can make in his or her future, and their community’s future.

Going to college is also important for the following reasons:

Respect – Generally, a person with a college degree garners more respect than someone who has not attended college.

Mind expansion – A person who attends college is exposed to many new ideas and experiences, and must work on projects and assignments that will develop their communication, reasoning, analytical and decision-making skills.

Connections – At college, a person makes many new friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, who can be added to that person’s rolodex for future reference. This network can be built upon further as the individual goes through life, and tapped for different projects and endeavors.

Income – The more education a person receives the higher income they receive. On average, a person with a college degree earns 66 percent more than a person with a high school diploma. Individuals who earn master’s and doctorate degrees earn up to two or three times as much as high school graduates, according to the U.S. Department of Education, 2017.

Career choice – By going to college, a person can choose their line of work and have a career, as opposed to working odd or hourly jobs with no opportunity for advancement.

Job security – Not only is it much easier for a person with a college degree to find and maintain a job, the unemployment rate for individuals with a college degree is about half the unemployment rate of high school graduates.  “Education Pays 2013” and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Options – Related to job security, are options. A person with a college degree has more options to move up the ladder by getting promoted, changing jobs, starting a new career or starting a new business. The more connections made during college, the more options a person will have in finding or changing a job, or starting a non-for-profit, business or hedge fund.

Benefits – Usually college graduates are able to secure jobs in a safe environment with better health insurance coverage. Other perks may include stock options and investment opportunities in retirement or pension funds.

Lifestyle – Most people with a college degree can afford nicer homes in a safe neighborhood, newer cars, and travel opportunities.

Self-confidence – Armed with a college degree, most people have a higher self-confidence that lends itself to trying new ventures and getting through difficult challenges. 

Communication skills – College work means writing essays, debating, making oral presentations, and working on team projects, which all teach effective communication skills.

Time management skills – College forces students to make deadlines and prioritize action items, by learning how to balance homework, essays, exams and projects with  social activities, family and work obligations.

Voting – The right to vote gives individuals the power to influence school board, municipal, county, state and national elections. An educated voter is even more powerful because he or she can advocate for those who can’t vote.