So Who Should Go To College? Everyone!
When you’re at the top of your high school class and your parents are college graduates, college often seems like the next natural step after graduation.
For many of us, education after high school isn’t even a thought. Or, if it is, it’s a dream that’s quickly tossed away once we consider the challenge of applying to college and paying for higher education.
That may be why it’s estimated that only one third of Bahamians have some form of post-secondary education.
But the rewards are huge for those who choose college. Consider this:
- College graduates can earn as much as 65% more in their lifetime than their peers who only graduate from high school, according to a 2013 study done by College Board.
- Education is widely regarded as the number one way out of poverty, and 13% of Bahamians live at the poverty line.
- The benefits of a college education extend beyond finances. Generally, those with a college education are healthier, have lower rates of obesity, spend more quality time with their children, and are more involved in their communities.
It’s easy to see why college should be an option for EVERYONE.
There are those who feel that their situation is far from ideal for college. At the Lyford Cay Foundations, we’ve heard this particularly about four scenarios. For each scenario, we’ve encountered Lyford Cay Foundation Scholars with the determination to beat every challenge:
No one in my family went to college and I don’t know anyone who went to college. Candera Gilbert, a graduate of R.M. Bailey High School can relate to this feeling. Candera was raised without her father and her mother didn’t receive an education beyond middle school. Candera’s inner drive to achieve more helped her become a Religion Teacher with Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Motivated to counsel students and one day create a girls’ mentoring programme, Candera is now earning her Master’s in Christian Counseling from Oral Roberts University,
I’m too old for college. After high school, Erica Meus-Saunders went on to have stellar career for 15 years as a croupier at Atlantis Casino. Even though Erica won many employee awards, she dreamed of the creative arts. Erica went on to study Film Production at Toronto Film School, and is earning a diploma in Screen Arts with Nova Scotia Community College.
Soon, Erica will become one of just a handful of Bahamian film producers.
I didn’t do well in high school. Shawn Minnis left high school after grade 11 to help support his family. Four years later, he returned to school, receiving his high school diploma before completing certifications in maritime studies. Spurred on by the dream of becoming a Power Engineer, Shawn is now attending Holland College.
“My advice is to everyone is to seize the opportunity and do not let it go to waste,” shares Shawn.
I don’t need college—I’m already doing well for myself! Cleopatra Armbrister had a fulfilling job at Princess Margaret Hospital as a Mortuary Supervisor. After realizing that she could make a difference in the lives of many patients, Cleopatra decided to apply to Keiser University to study histotechnology. She looks forward to returning to PMH to become a part of the team that diagnoses disease and abnormalities.
So is college for YOU? If you want to make a difference for your life, your family and for The Bahamas, the answer is YES!
“Gain An Edge” is a weekly collaboration of the Lyford Cay Foundations, Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and the College of The Bahamas aimed at promoting a national dialogue on higher education. To share your thoughts, email firstname.lastname@example.org