Why the Ride for Change Benefits Minority Scholarships This Year
By now, hopefully you now about The Ride For Change, which is kicking off September 14th.
In short, I'll be riding my Harley-Davidson around Texas while raising awareness and funds for minority scholarships we are setting up in each town.
First off, thank you so much for the overwhelming support for this ride. We have a lofty goal, but I'm confident we'll reach it, thanks to you.
So, why did I choose to create minority scholarships? Well, aside from what's happening in our social landscape, regarding equality, there are some startling facts that I'd like to share with you about minorities, college/trade schools, and receiving financial support through scholarships and grants.
According to Mark Kantrowitz, author of Secrets to Winning a Scholarship, minorities are less likely to be recipients of college scholarships with caucasians pulling in 72% of scholarships, leaving just 28% for minorities.
Now one could argue that's because there are more white kids in college than minorities. Well, that is correct, however, minorities still receive less scholarships than the actual percentage they impact the college population.
But, did you know that, according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, white students (defined as non-Hispanic white) make up just under 50% of the under the age of 15 population?
Those at the top of that range are now 17 and getting ready for college.
So, to break it down, if there are just as many minorities as Caucasians, then why are there so few minorities in college?
One of the biggest, if not biggest, factors is socioeconomic impact.
Algernon Austin, Director of Race, Ethnicity and the Economy Program, at the Economic Policy Institute states that the reason we're seeing lower enrollment rates for minorities is attributed to the contrast of access to financial resources, citing "household wealth is very important when it comes to paying for college since families tend to draw upon their wealth - taking out mortgages, cashing in stocks - in order to finance their child's education".
In summary, with an almost balance of Caucasians vs minorities now, or soon will be, entering the college age, there shouldn't be such a large disparity of the amount of minorities that attend college.
The reason many minorities can't attend college is due to socioeconomic impact. Statistically, Caucasians have greater access to financial resources, by a large margin. So, when you combine all of those factors, there is still a great need for minority assistance.
Back to the socioeconomic issues plaguing minorities, one of the foundations of these scholarships I'm helping create is that the recipient is active within their minority community. I don't believe in hand-outs, or meritless scholarships, so to speak. So, it's super important that this has a cyclical effect by rewarding someone with good grades as well as their work to build their communities to levels that achieve greater equality.
At the end of the day, this isn't as much about the scholarships, per se, as it is about doing something to help build our minority communities, thus affording them a greater chance at furthering their education.