discussion post after reading the speech anytown usa and no child left behind

This is for a discussion post so doesnt have to be long. 6-10 sentences. After reading the speech, “Anytown USA” and “No Child Left Behind: Addressing the School Dropout Rate Among Latinos”, critique the effectiveness of each organization and delivery. How did the choices impact the level of engagement you had with each speech? Some areas to comment on are: an engaging introduction, smooth transitions, credible evidence to support main ideas, concise conclusion with memorable ending, varied tone of voice, eye contact and other body language.

Anytown USA-

I would not be the person I am today if it was not for Anytown. I would not be in this room if it was not for this organization. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. What can so dramatically change someone’s life?

Anytown is a summer leadership camp. Now there are thousands of summer leadership camps all around the world. You have science camps, young life camps, all kinds of camps—camps that change our lives in positive ways.

The summer before my junior year, I attended Anytown. Before camp, I was a deviant young man. After camp I was never the same. So what exactly is Anytown? What is its history and what goes on at camp that’s so powerful? Today I’ll discuss these three things with you.

According to the website, Anytown Arizona is a youth development program that focuses on diversity awareness, social justice, and personal empowerment. Its mission is to be a catalyst and facilitator for social change. This camp brings together people from different backgrounds and different cultures.

The Anytown USA organization has several types of programs: Anytown Junior is for junior highers; Unitowns are for weekend programs; Beyond Anytown is for people who have attended Anytown; and Powertown focuses on parents and community members.

The weeklong camp is filled with activities geared toward understanding diversity through a great deal of educational activities that have emotional impact. Typically, the counselors act out different levels of violence that are seen everywhere. They start with verbal violence—someone saying an inappropriate comment to somebody just because they are a different color. They continue to physical violence, ganging up and pummeling another counselor because they are a different color. They finish with genocide. Genocide consists of four or six counselors acting out being Jewish, killed by two counselors acting out being Nazis. This is only one of the activities and there are many others.

So where did Anytown come from? What’s its history? According to the Anytown website, Anytown began in 1957 known as the National Conference for Christians and Jews, now better known as the National Conference for Community and Justice. The goal then and now was to bring together a group of diverse young youth from a variety of different backgrounds, empower them to understand each other, and learn from each other.

In one cabin you will have a young man who has been very wealthy growing up and a young man who has had a very dysfunctional past. Together, throughout the week, they come together and they learn about each other and where they’re from and what they’ve lived. Toward the end of the week they become kind of like brothers.

The staff, in a way, tests the students. They segregate them. Each day has a different theme, such as “know yourself,” “know your friends,” and “know your family.” During the week in the end, when they become segregated they either continue to stay segregated or they desegregate themselves. These students never fail the test of desegregating themselves.

Each camp reacts differently to the segregation. Some break it and integrate to the camp. Some stay segregated until one specific student speaks up.

I hope you have learned a thing or two about this great organization that has been around for years. I’m sure that Anytown will be around for the future, helping our youth understand diversity, and understand each other. Jared Cohan, an Anytown alumni, quotes, “One person can achieve wonders by helping one person—an individual. Then that individual passes those things to another and so on and so on.” This is the power Anytown has, changing the world one person at a time.

No child left behind-

I’ll begin with a story from the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper about a young woman named Mabel Arellanes. After becoming pregnant and dropping out of school at the age of 16 years, Mabel has reenrolled in high school and is now the junior class president. Although her dynamic change in attitude toward education has led her to the hope of becoming a lawyer, Mabel’s story is not representative of the current trends among other Latinos. I have been conducting extensive research on trends in the socioeconomic status, graduation rates, and the population of Latinos in the United States. Today, I will discuss the problem of the Latino dropout rate from high school and college, as well as provide a solution for addressing this intensifying issue. Let me begin by discussing the problem.

The dropout rate among Latinos in secondary schools and colleges must be addressed. Why? Because the dropout rate is simply excessive. Statistics and first-hand accounts attest to this fact. According to the News and Observer, 1 in 12 Latino students dropped out of high school in North Carolina during the 2003–2004 school year, but this statistic does not account for the 47.5% of Latino students who have not graduated in the four years since the beginning of the 1999–2000 academic year. Gamaliel Fuentes, who dropped out of school at the age of 15 years, said, “We have no money; that’s why I dropped out of school. [My father] asked me [to stay in school], but I decided. Now, if I could go back in time, I would stay still in school.” The tendency for Latinos to drop out is triggered by their generally low socioeconomic status and a lack of family support. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education explains that students coming from families of lower socioeconomic status are less likely to succeed in college because high schools do not prepare them well. In addition, Latino families expect their teens and young adults to contribute to the family’s economic needs, and work schedules often conflict with studies.

Next, I will discuss the importance of addressing the Latino dropout rate. Addressing the dropout rate will keep Latinos from remaining at a generally low economic status. It is no secret that income is heavily dependent on education level. According to the Daily Evergreen newspaper, a person with a bachelor’s degree is likely to earn almost one million dollars more over their course of their lifetime than someone with no college education. While a census report in the San Antonio Express-News found that Latinos earned merely 6.2% of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau found that Latinos made up 12% of the national population in 2000 and 13.3% in 2002. In her essay, “Canto, Locura, y Poesia,” Olivia Castellano, Latina professor at California State University, writes, “[Latinos] carry a deeply ingrained sense of inferiority, a firm conviction that they are not worthy of success.” Ultimately, all who hold the belief that our country is the “land of opportunity” are affected by the Latino dropout rate. Again, referencing the 2001 findings of the U.S. Census Bureau, 2 out of every 10 Hispanics live below the poverty line, while only one out of every four earned a yearly salary of $35,000 or more. Comparatively, around 50% of non-Hispanic whites earned $35,000 or more that year. These figures are far from exemplifying opportunity for Latinos.

What will happen if the problem is not solved? Since the percentage of Latinos in our population is still climbing, ignoring this issue will lead to a greater gap between the life of the typical American and the life of the Latino American. As I proceed to discuss the solutions for this problem, are you beginning to sense the urgency of this situation?

To solve the problem of a high dropout rate, we must fund teacher sensitivity training programs that help Latinos succeed in education, and Latinos must change their perspective on the importance of education and their ability to succeed. Let me first address teacher sensitivity training. Programs that educate teachers about Latino culture and beliefs and that help Latino students succeed in education will have the most impact on the dropout rate. Properly educated teachers will become aware of how they are able to meet the needs of Latino students. For example, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported on the success of a program called AVID, which boasts a 95% college entrance rate among its Latino students. This solution, which can be implemented at the national, state, and local levels, is dependent on increased funding and the efforts of educators with experience in Latino culture. Increased funding will help reform educational budgets for Latino communities and fund college success programs like AVID. This solution also requires the collective efforts of highly knowledgeable professionals with experience in education and in Latino culture who can train other educators.

Given proper attention and execution, the plan to address the Latino dropout rate will help the dropout rate begin to fall and will instill pride in the Latino community. Although it will take at least a decade before results are fully apparent, perhaps even a generation, ideally the plan will result in an increase in Latinos earning bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The sense of accomplishment gained by furthering education will change the typical Latino mindset regarding education and instill an overall sense of pride in the U.S. Latino community.

In summary, today I have discussed the problem of high dropout rate among Latinos, and I have discussed a possible solution for addressing the issue. Hopefully, you can clearly see that the high Latino dropout rate is an issue of great concern, one that requires prompt and thorough attention.

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