Thursday, March 30, 2017

Baby Boomers Education






There are many, many people and if I were told to count the number of people such as myself that went back to school to educate themselves for a fighting chance at a great life, I would run out of paper and pencils.

I attended high school back in 1976-1980 and during that time one of the electives that I was able to choose was considered a "FUN" class so I took my jab at ceramics. I still remember my teacher, Mrs. Lockeard. She was one of those hippie people that you could totally see running around any beach community and calling it home.

My math teacher Mr. Sklar, was one of those "free wheeling" teachers that often thought smoking marijuana was the best form of relaxation and he had no problems walking into his classroom just stoned off his butt. I still remember how I struggled in that class facing frustration and anger each day trying to grasp exactly how Algebra actually worked.

On the day of the finals, Mr. Sklar came into the classroom, sat down, and began digging through his briefcase. He pulled out a small box then taking one white paper and his marijuana as well. He began rolling a joint and then lighting it up taking a huge inhale then letting out the stinky smell he smiled at us and said, "everyone gets an A in Algebra."

If I was asked to compare the differences between high school today and high school back then, well, mine was a walk in the park compared to how it is now. Yep everyone during my rein in high school just sailed right through without a care in the world.

Growing up in California, well, we were known as the state of plenty. Many different nations came running to California for what they considered a "better life" especially people from Mexico. Back in 1976 - 1980, sure there was some Hispanics where I lived but they were not flooding over like they are today. Computers during this time was just cresting in our world and many thought it was just a fad just like television back in the forties and fifties.

So, I never really grew up understanding computers or how it would really effect my life. My parents were never the ones to get in my face and tell me that computers would change our world and I better get on the band wagon and learn all I can about them let alone a second language.

Had someone told me that learning Spanish would forge me ahead in the work force giving me a cutting edge on growth I would have laughed them right out of the room. Our thinking during my rein in high school like many others were solid on the idea of many different nations coming to the United States making English their main language. We all had ignorant thinking, "if you wan to come to our state, our nation, then learn our language, why should be we go out of our way to learn yours, your the one coming here so learn our language."

From 1980 and moving forward, our world and work force was changing rapidly. Computers were still forging ahead and making their way into homes and work places. The younger generation was learning rather quickly how computers were changing our world. The language barriers for many of the people racing to live in the United States was changing as quickly as computers. If you knew a language and you were computer savvy, you were in like Flynn. You were going places and making a name for yourself and not only were they growing in the corporate ladder their wallets becoming fatter and fatter!

Now jump forward to past President Obama on everyone's television telling all of us and I still remember exactly what he said.

"We are faced with a diverse work force. Many of the younger generation in today's world has the cutting edge on growth, education, and sustainability. Baby Boomers are now faced with not landing jobs due to the education they received while in school. I am making it a point to give out student loans to all baby boomers so the may return to school, become educated and land those same jobs that a twenty year plus kid is getting. I have received thousand and thousands of letters telling me that as a baby boomer they are being turned down jobs because they do not have a clear understanding of computers, language barriers, and more. So, baby boomers, get on your computers enter your birth date and you will get student loans."

The idea was to get baby boomers off of state assistance because the vast majority of people on state government assistance was in fact baby boomers. They had minimum wage jobs and were not able to pay rent, buy a house, or keep food in the pantry for their kids. We had no company growth because our education only went so far, as far as a high school diploma. We wanted the same chances and the same thing that every other person was getting.

Please remember, not every high school graduate during my rein in school did not have the financial means to send their children to college. I still remember Saddleback College each class a $3.00 credit class. Now, its almost three times that amount at a qualified college/university.

And that is exactly what every baby boomer did! Thousands and thousands if not millions jumped onto their computers and actually got an undisclosed amount of money to return to school to become educated. Vocational schools hit an all time high enrollment in such areas as medical assistants, law clerks, office secretaries, computer schools, and colleges were suddenly flooded with people my age during this time which would of been in my early forties.

Little did we know during this time there was ONLY a designated timeline and dollar amount that would be given to baby boomers for their future education. So typically a baby boomer that jumped on that band wagon was only given so much money for so many months. Once the money was used up the school would then contact the baby boomer telling them that the money given to them for education was gone and they now needed to provide additional funds to complete their education.

We were not able to get student loans because the student loans given to us was now considered "outstanding" and "unpaid" so what do we do? We stopped going to school because financially, we could never finish.

So what happens when one's student loans runs out and they can no longer afford college? This is what happens!!

Prime Example of Zero Education

Here is a prime example...I landed a job interview with a local company that ran an ad in my paper that said, "looking to hire within the company. Computer experience required but willing to train the right person."

I called and landed an interview and when I showed up there was approximately thirty two people there. I was the oldest woman in the room I was thirty six years old. Many others in the room were in their early twenties who were educated, smart, and computer savvy and of course I was turned down for the job due to a lack of education.

So where does that place me? Right back into minimum wage, outstanding student loans that are sky rocketing with interest, I am not making enough money to even begin to pay $50.00 a month on my now outstanding student loans. So I went from owing $15,332.00 to a whopping $42,101.09 in back student loans.

When I did do my taxes in hopes of a refund, my refund went right to my past student loans. As a single mother of three girls and getting that child tax credit of $3,000 per child making that $9,000 plus in a refund was never once ever seen.

So, how does one get out of the death grip of student loans, how do we get over this huge hurdle and actually get to see just ONE refund coming my way?


If any knows, please write to me @ lifessteppingstones@gmail.com