“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Malcolm X delivered this powerful message at the Organization of Afro-American Unity’s founding forum in 1964. This quote, and many others, reflect the importance of education and the value it brings to our lives. Education opens doors of opportunity for everyone, but access to education is not equal for everyone around the world.
The United Nations has declared January 24th as the International Day of Education. Millions of individuals around the world have limited access to education. 244 million children and youth are not in school, and 771 million adults are illiterate. Young girls are particularly vulnerable to falling behind in their education due to barriers like unequal educational systems, poverty, child marriage and gender-based violence.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Education is “to invest in people, prioritize education”. Investing into education can uplift individuals and communities from a vicious cycle of poverty by leading to increased individual earnings, reducing economic inequalities and promoting economic growth.
Unicef accepts donations to help support children’s education and schools globally. However, if you want to donate more locally, there are several nonprofit organizations across Westchester County that support and uplift students pursuing education. Here are just a few:
- Black Diamonds Academic Success, Inc. – mentors young men of color to support them in becoming high achieving students while preparing them for higher education and life after high school.
- Destination: College – helps student athletes from historically underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged high schools pursue a college education.
- Latino U College Access – offers coaching and supportive programming to help low-income, first-generation Latino students pursue a college education.
- Student Advocacy – provides legally-based education advocacy services for local youth who are seriously challenged and at risk of failing or dropping out of school.
- Today’s Students. Tomorrow’s Teachers – mentors and trains culturally diverse and economically challenged students through high school and college to help them become effective teachers and committed leaders to uplift schools and communities.
- Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) – partners with students to ensure they are ready for, enroll in, and complete college. They confront the challenges of a low-income, urban school district by providing families with equitable access to the critical tools and services necessary for college success.
Alison Robles is a part-time clerk at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for YA lit, history and science fiction. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.