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Rural college students are a vast and vital national resource – Lumina Foundation

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Read Rural college students are a vast and vital national resource by Lumina Foundation President and CEO James Merisotis from September 23, 2019. Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

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This month, what I found interesting was not a specific article, but a series of articles from the Lumina Foundation. Their focus this month was on students from rural America and how we must tap into their hidden potential.

“The fact is our rural areas are teeming with human potential. And if we are to prosper as a nation — economically, culturally, politically, socially — we must unlock that potential. We must, through high-quality education programs, fully develop the talent in our rural regions so that it can be unleashed to benefit us all.”

Jamie Merisotis , President and CEO, Lumina Foundation, Focus Magazine, September 23, 2019.

This was a very personal experience for me. I grew up in a rural part of California, in what is not a fly-over but rather a drive-through part of the state. Largely dependent on agricultural success still, it lacks the social capital access of Silicon Valley and San Francisco located less than 2 hours away. Even in the early 1990s, without local college fairs and internet access to admissions requirements, it was hard to imagine what college was like.

I was lucky, though. I was a first generation college student enrolled at an elite private university, but I had the leadership skills to ask for help and find resources. It wasn’t easy but I understood that whatever lack of preparation I had was only one more thing to practice once I found out.

But not all students who come from rural areas have these skills. The magazine series covers programs developed across the country to help students not only achieve college admissions but also succeed while enrolled. I applaud their tenacity and desire to meet their educational goals!

“I hope you’ll take the time to fully explore this issue of Focus, and that it gives you a better understanding of the state of education attainment in rural America. More important, I hope you’re spurred to action by what you learn here. Rural students are a vast and vital national resource — one we can’t afford to fly over.

Jamie Merisotis , President and CEO, Lumina Foundation, Focus Magazine, September 23, 2019.

Read Rural college students are a vast and vital national resource by Lumina Foundation President and CEO James Merisotis from September 23, 2019. Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.


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