I deal with children who suffer from a lot of NEGLECT in a lot of different forms, and it’s not where you would think you would find it.. And it’s not how most of us are conditioned to view neglect either it’s very subtle but it leads to other issues..

Imagine a young person struggling within this environment or who has been subjected to emotional neglect, abuse or physical violence and it’s impact on them being able to function properly in school and be a student. That young person is going to need just a little bit extra, but for some students, especially those of color their past or family circumstances are being against them. This past school year I had a young Black female student at a local HS who told me her guidance counselor said because of her past history a four-year college wasn’t an ideal fit for her and to disregard what I had been saying to her because I supposedly didn’t know her past history or her family’s past history.. Past history?? I was pretty upset after hearing that and wanted to know why a professional would tell a young student to disregard what another professional was saying when she had no idea what I knew of my client’s past history??

That kind of thinking in my opinion is a form of NEGLECT. And should never be tolerated in an educational environment, as I pondered this situation I began to wonder how many other young people’s thinking has been altered and misdirected by that kind of advice??

I reflected on my own life for a moment and thought wait If that was the measuring stick I wouldn’t have been ideal for college either, yet I have a Bachelors, Masters and I’m soon to have a PhD.. A young person’s past doesn’t determine their future, THEY do and it starts with a SPARK of belief and encouragement. In this last year alone, I have helped seven young people in Wright and Sherburne County Schools move on to have the opportunity to earn college degrees, those students when asked said that they had received no help whatsoever from the school guidance or college counselors. It’s easy to work with the good kids, the special kids with all of the light on them, that have been identified early as stars. It takes a bit more to reach those hidden gems, I have personally sat with parents and student and helped them submit applications, financial aid forms because I encouraged those students to believe their lives and futures could be so much more than their past experiences. There is so much potential falling through the cracks of our educational system because of this kind of thinking and it needs to change.