In our Age of Information, the path to success means obtaining an education. As our economy becomes increasingly technical, an in-depth knowledge of a specific skill and a broad, general base of knowledge coupled with an understanding of how to access more specific information is vital.
Given this, it's promising to see that three local efforts to ensure our children obtain this degree of education are succeeding.
Perhaps most notable is the Indian Teacher Education Program and other tribal efforts. Indeed, 32 Yurok tribal members graduated from college this spring. The number may not seem large, but given that it accounts for a fifth of all Yurok students to ever graduate from college in the tribe's history, it's impressive. Many of those students say they plan to come back to Klamath.
The Mentor-Scholarship Program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, also is making a difference. Since local health care providers started this effort, the number of Del Norte High students attending four-year universities has risen closer to statewide averages. The program guides students from their freshman year of high school to eventually attending a university.
Though some students aren't interested in obtaining a four-year degree, that doesn't mean additional schooling isn't necessary. Given this, it's exciting that the school district and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are partnering to create a local Construction Academy, which will give high school students more coursework and direct experience to develop vocational skills.
Our state and nation over the decades has shifted from agricultural to industrial and now to technical skills, altering from generation to generation the jobs a person might hold. But with each shift, there has been one constant: A person needed more and more education. It's good to see that local programs are succeeding in meeting this new challenge.
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