A recent study confirmed what all of us probably knew all along, kids who have wealthier friends than themselves benefit in the long run because they tend to earn a higher salary later in life. Who you know makes a difference.
It is no different than growing up with a positive role model in your life. You can’t be what you can’t see. Unfortunately, there is a push to keep separation from any community besides the one you live in. There is a push in certain states for teachers not to discuss sexuality until a kid is past third grade. Essentially continuing the cycle that if you don’t look and act like me, there is something wrong with you. I hope that the data in this report changes people’s narratives but unfortunately, I don’t see this as a massive wave of change afoot.
When our kids were young, until Jessica was 8, we lived in the suburbs of Westchester. We had a woman who worked for us who had four kids; two of them were girls roughly Jessica and Emily’s age. They came to our house often.
I discovered that when summer hit, their girls were hanging out at a construction site with their father while he worked during the day. We might have been living in a nice suburb, but we were just making ends meet at that point. I gave those girls the opportunity to go to camp in our local community so that their Mom could drop them off and pick them up before and after work. The family took me up on it.
These young girls were then exposed to a community of campers that were not like the community they went home to at night. Years later, I heard from their brother, who told me that they had gone to college, one was a nurse, and I don’t remember what the other one did.
Their parents came to the states to make a better life for their kids. I hope this particular summer opened their eyes to a new world where they could be whatever they chose to be. That is what is supposed to happen in America.
We need to integrate all our communities, not separate them. It makes a better world for all of us.