I’m sharing with you one of the most valuable benefits of my job: reason to hope. I can’t go even a day being discouraged by the state of democracy and the entrenched existence of classism and racism without course correction from young leaders with no time to wallow in worry or entertain any myths about a more glorious past.
Look at the advocacy work of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, as led by the League of Student Advocates, built on these essential ingredients:
- 101 years of commitment to democracy, education, immigration, and racial and economic equity;
- Understanding that the best experts and influencers in education policy are students;
- Willingness to invest resources in inquiry and collective action of young leaders; and,
- A staff and board supporting those leaders and their proposals.
Though challenges abound, Scholarship Foundation advocacy efforts have not paused for COVID or a discouraging political climate. On October 18, we will welcome Advocacy Director Karina Arango. Having worked closely with the program over several years, Karina steps into the role with great vision and passion.
And if that weren’t enough, there’s more. After months of careful analysis of data it took years (and the efforts of Representative Kevin Windham) to secure, four Data Policy Fellows have authored a very telling report on who is (and who is not) benefitting by Missouri’s scholarship programs. Policymakers and media (see links, below) have taken note. Missouri enters a new legislative session challenged to address disparities that have gone on far too long.
In conclusion, you have permission to hope and an invitation to act! You’ll find below a link to register for an upcoming webinar sponsored by St. Louis Graduates in which Fellows will present findings and recommendations. The truth we’ve learned in the eight years of the development of young leaders in educational policy is that once you SEE the systems designed to replicate disparity, you can not UNSEE them. Join us!
State Scholarship Programs Failing Missouri Students, Report Finds
Sept. 8, 2021 – The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
Missouri’s college scholarship programs aren’t helping students who need it most
Sept. 9, 2021 – The Kansas City Star
Report says there are ‘significant disparities’ in Missouri scholarship programs
Sept. 9, 2021 – The Center Square
Windham calls for state scholarship reforms after report suggests disparities
Sept. 10, 2021 – The Missouri Times
Missouri students call for reform in state scholarships
Sept. 20, 2021 – The Standard
– Faith Sandler