the high school education he received in Mississippi County high school (graduated 1959) was about the equivalent to a jr. high education now. His parents were poor share croppers, with 4 kids (3 girls, 1 boy). They heated their house with a wood stove. My dad had to go out and chop the wood for the stove. If my dad wanted anything in life he had to scrape the money together to get it.
He served in the Air Force for 2 years. After that he has pretty much been self-employed all of his life. It was very difficult in the early years, even till I got out of high school in 1978. However, my dad has worked, pounded the concrete floors in whatever business he had at the time, scrimped and saved. Now he has retired though he still owns and manages several commercial properties. His net worth is probably several million by now. He pays cash for everything.
Oh, and my mom’s family were farmers as well and she went to the same high school my dad did.
My dad, frugal as he is, went to buy PJ’s at Penney’s. He found out that he could get 20% off by opening a credit card. (His visa is paid off monthly before the due date.) His plan was to open the card, make a purchase, then close the account. Anyway, the clerk attempted to open an account and it would not go through …. my dad, though not as rich as VLs, has the same problem with credit reports! His house is paid off, all commercial properties are paid off, he has NO debt and hasn’t for decades. He could not get a stupid Penney’s card but could buy out all the merchandise in the local store if he wanted to. Go figure. Oh, he still bought the PJ’s.
My dad was not successful because of a stellar education. He was not successful due to influential mentors or big wig financing by a big bank or “silent partner”. It was choices he made … one small choice/decision/baby step at a time. It was also due to prayer to God asking for wisdom.
I hope to have 1/2 the wisdom my dad has now by the time I pass on.
I come from literally dirt floor, path to the bath roots—the first home I remember living in was 2 rooms, and I don’t mean bedrooms I mean two rooms and neither was a bathroom that was connected to the pigsty up the hill from the house.
My father and mother were high drop outs, her 8th grade him 10th. Dad spent part of his formative years living in a one room log cabin with a dirt floor. Besides being in the military in WWII he held only one job his entire life, with the same company for 37 years as a TEMPORARY employee. Yet later in life both Mom and Dad got their GED’s in the same month my much younger brother got his high school diploma. They all three went on to get further education. I finished a three year college course in 18 months. I’ll let you decide my language skills.
While my father was an only child my mother was the 9th of 10. Only her and her brother Kenneth ever made anything to speak of in their lives. And it was NOT handed to them. They both worked hard and asked for no hand outs from anyone. They both also found a way to get an education, neither had scholarships.
Low income is not what hurts students, it’s attitude and life choices. A student CHOSES the classes they take in school. They also choose whether or not to study, or to even attend classes for that matter. Don’t blame low income for the lack of education. My children were raised life is a series of choices and it is the CHOICES you make that will decide how your life turns out.
My children also grew up with a rainbow of friends from every race and economic strata. I could tell you at a young age which kids would get ahead in life simply by the choices they made as youths. One young man was supposedly destined for poverty the rest of his life due to his color and his social status. Oh and he was declared to be “a bit slow.” Teachers passed him on from grade to grade just to be rid of him. He finally as a high school student admitted to my dd that he couldn’t read above a first grade level. She taught him how to read that summer. He wasn’t slow, he simply hadn’t tried to read and learn until he was in high school and decided he wanted more out of life. He chose to study those last three years.
He grew confidence, and graduated far from the bottom of their class. He went on to get further education and now provides for his own family in a middle class neighborhood working a good job. He is there because he made the choice to ask my dd to teach him to read. He choose to not be a statistic. Something any person can do at any point in their life.
Just like all of us here have made the choice to be debt free. Life is a series of choices…