So, I’m graduating from middle school next week (high school promotion or whatever you would like to refer to it as). For me it is a good opportunity to put my life and education in perspective. As I continue my journey into high school I give thanks for the free public schools provided to me. La Canada High School is an incredible place. The highest ranked open enrollment high school in California by US News and World Report, the school not only offers a wide range of challenging AP courses, but also offers excellent programs in music and the arts. For example, I’m a singer and the school has a vibrant choral program that tours all over the world, singing in famously renowned venues. Nearly every student at LCHS goes on to a 4-year college.
I know I am exceptionally lucky to live and go to school in La Canada. I know that if I was living in rural Uganda, for example, this graduation might mean that my formal education was over and instead of looking forward to all the incredible opportunities that await me in high school I would be facing a lifetime of work. If my parents couldn’t afford secondary school, I would now be forced to join the workforce like millions of other children around the world. As is the case for so many poor youth, my potential would be robbed by fate and my opportunities confiscated due to generations of poverty.
In the end education is all about opportunity. The opportunity to grow, to learn, and to achieve. The opportunity to one day to have control and choices over your future and to thrive. It is through education that we can break the chain of poverty. To be able to help provide educational opportunities to youth in need is one of the greatest blessings that I have gained through RUFC over the past 3 years. This week, thanks to nearly a dozen families who have agreed to support students, RUFC again paid tuition for nine children to continue their education in secondary school. These are terrific, bright kids from hard working families who without our support would no longer be attending school. Through this support, we are setting these youths on a path to success and paying jobs. People often think that they need to give so much to make a difference. In reality, all anyone needs to give is these kids a chance.
Ray Wipfli, RUFC founder, shares his thoughts.