Garrison Wynn
Speaker, Consultant, Author

Garrison Wynn

Founder of Wynn Solutions, this keynote speaker is a former stand-up comedian and author of "The Real Truth About Success

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Not many slackers

Q: A recent series in the Post painted a bleak picture of the prospects for millions of U.S.-born children of Hispanic immigrants, who will play an outsized role in the future of the American workforce but are dropping out of high school in greater numbers than other any other U.S.-born racial or ethnic group. What needs to be done to help more of these young people succeed in school and get college degrees?

Many children of Hispanic immigrants have to exit the school system early to help support the family financially. The Hispanic culture is hardworking and of an independent nature. Many organizations will attest to the pride and the get-it-done work ethic of their Hispanic employees.

The truth is that, in a world of what some may call "the apathetic youth movement" (which sounds more like a lack of movement), you don't see a lot of Hispanic slackers. For these immigrant families, it's almost culturally unacceptable not to work hard. They didn't leave their home country, friends, family, and native language behind so they can sleep late, screw off, and not appreciate their opportunity. (Most Americans who go to foreign countries complain because they can't get any ice!) They come here because they have a shot at actually feeding their family.

However, I think it's difficult to pursue an education, much less get one funded, when mom and dad who might not speak much English need your help to support the family. A strong family value exists among this group, and food on the table now simply has more importance than the not-so-Hispanic American dream.

One way to help alleviate the problem: We need influential Hispanic adults to visit our schools consistently (i.e., weekly) and talk to these kids about the fact that they are needed as the fastest-growing group of leaders and decision-makers, and not just the fast-growing uneducated labor force in America.

By Garrison Wynn  |  December 14, 2009; 4:29 PM ET  | Category:  education Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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