Valuing Education

I forget which week I am in at the internship but I’m still going strong. I have realized though, between my job and internship, the only day off I had since the start of the internship was 4th of July and even that was a long, exhausting but fun day at the beach with a fireworks show afterwards. I realize now that I like to be challenged and that is why I take on a busy schedule. If I don’t spend my time being productive, I prefer to relax which usually involves a nap and endless hours playing with my dog.

The weeks that I have been interning at the ANCA-WR office, a few of my previous thoughts about Armenians have been validated especially on the topic of education. The interns I am working with are very ambitious individuals having either completed their undergraduate education like myself, completed some undergraduate coursework, or just starting college. I understand that this sample of young Armenians is very biased because we have been selected based on some qualifying factors.  What this illustrates is that this organization supports and values education.

The value set on education is generally true with most Armenians as well. Speaking strictly of young Armenians I have come across in the recent years, I have noticed that most either have their undergraduate degree or professional degree completed and working on, if not yet completed a graduate degree.  This stems from cultural values and principals.  Certain cultures, including Armenians, emphasize education as a top priority and others simply do not. Some important indicators of whether or not certain cultures value education is to look at the history, the government, country’s past and current education system, as well as current population literacy rates.  Another important factor for entering the higher education system is based on the information obtained on the educational processes throughout the elementary, high school and college years in an individual’s life. Those individuals that receive more information about the educational system from family, counclors, freinds, research, etc., have a greater chance of going to college especially presigous schools.  Recently I had a very close friend obtain his PhD in higher education and I learned a lot through the process and his research.  Although his research was focused on lower income Latina/o students, his research can be used universally to promote higher education. Thank you Dr. Meza for your contributions to society!

I am very proud that I come from a culture that promotes education.  If I didn’t have the encouragement and push from my family to get an education, I would have had a much different life. I credit my mother’s boldness of entering the United States with no comprehension of English and earning an AA degree quickly after while maintaining a family of 5. I remember spendings hours at a time in the library as a child reading books. Such a simple activity of going to the library frequently can make a big difference, as it did for me.

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