CdA editorial praises Thomas and LCSC
This editorial appeared in the Coeur d’Alene Press on Saturday.
Degrees of happiness (Editorial)
Posted: Saturday, Sep 15, 2007 - 07:56:33 pm PDT
As our Sunday Focus outlined one week ago, there's great hope for Kootenai County residents in poverty to rise above it. And as Jay Baldwin of the Northern Idaho Center for Higher Education noted in his letter to the editor on Friday, the joy of pulling oneself out of poverty transcends financial considerations. Baldwin cited research that showed college graduates tend to live much more fulfilling lives than those who merely graduate from high school.
In other words, they're happier.
That's the ultimate goal, both for the individual and society.
In Kootenai County alone, there are almost 1,000 women age 25 and older who are high school dropouts living below the poverty level. That's devastating from every aspect. Many of these women are single mothers unable to adequately provide for their children. In many cases, their burdens must be borne by a social service structure that is breaking under welfare's ever-increasing weight.
We know that not all these women have the tools to push themselves, to succeed and to break the trends of despair that sometimes have already lasted generations. But many do; they simply don't know how.
That's where we're seeking your help.
As much as we'd like to think everybody in Kootenai County subscribes to and absorbs every issue of this newspaper, we know that's not the case. We know that particularly with individuals and families in poverty, many think a newspaper subscription is a luxury they can't afford. We hope they can afford to listen to you.
Whether they're neighbors, members of your congregation, clients of your social service agency, or someone you know in any other capacity, please, build a bridge of communication that can ultimately lead to their greater happiness.
Put them in contact with NICHE, the Coeur d'Alene-based higher education resource that will help them figure out not just how to get their education back on track, but how to pay for it. Ask them to call NICHE at 769-3177. The experts there will help chart a path that could include completing a GED before going on to greater things through North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College and University of Idaho -- all without ever having to leave the Coeur d'Alene area.
This newspaper's editorial board met earlier in the week with LCSC President Dene Thomas, an amazing woman who, at the age of 30, found herself divorced with three children and a wholly inadequate education. She went back to school, worked her way to a PhD and now presides over one of the finest public education institutions in the western United States.
President Thomas has inspired us to commit to profiling women's educational success stories every month this school year, showing a number of routes to greater happiness.
Please, share these stories and the NICHE contact information with someone who could use a hand up. Their joy will only augment your own.