99% or Bust?
I had a discussion with some of our students last week about the protests that are going on, both here and in Europe. They are having a hard time understanding what it is all about. As one of them said, "I just want to be part of the 99%."
Our students are here because they recognize the promise of America - a promise of equal opportunity. They work long hours and come to our school in their free time to prepare themselves to take advantage of that opportunity. They cannot understand why some Americans, who have so much, would want to live in tents in a park. They don't care much, either. They are too busy working and learning and climbing the ladder of success.
Some of those successes have been outstanding, too. Earlier in the month I brought one of our graduates to speak at a fundraising dinner to benefit the Inner City Foundation for Education and Charity. They have been supporting the school for several years now, and I was grateful for the opportunity to show them the results of their investment in us. The room was quiet as she spoke, and burst into applause twice, as she reached her conclusion.
You can listen to the speech here, or read it here.
It was inspiring. She told of being stranded here, with no money, no friends, and but little ability to speak English. Our school became her true alma mater, not just teaching her the skills she needed to fulfill her dream, but nurturing the dream itself. Her dream was to graduate from an American College and work in the media industry. After five years she achieved that dream. She did it as an International student, without financial aid, paying higher tuition than resident students, and working
at odd jobs to pay her way.
She is but one example of our students who have no idea of why those 99% people are doing their protest. They are too busy trying to crack into the 99%!