Now that we are embarking on a new year, as President of the RPCard Foundation, I would like to thank our supporters and advocates for being there for us and the young African American students we supported from our inception through 2014.
As we welcome in the New Year, I would also like to thank our Board of Directors for the superb guidance they have given me and the Foundation. This year will be a particularly important year as our Board has taken the initiative to revise our mission in accordance with the economic tenor we are now experiencing; especially in light of the new paradigms our young people must meet to fulfill their academic and personal financial goals. That said I offer to our supporters and advocates the RPCard Foundation's revised initiative for 2015.
~ Angela Newsome, President
Revised Mission Statement
The RPCard Foundation mantra states that “Education is ongoing.” While we hold to this belief we also feel that preparation for higher education and career goals is ongoing. What this means is that high school students must be given the tools and encouragement to pursue academic excellence in the early stages of their high school experience. Providing scholarships to minority students who desire to go to college and pass the SAT is a wonderful undertaking. We, at The RPCard Foundation, applaud the many foundations that provide scholarship dollars for minority students to attend a college or university of their choice. However, we feel a need to take a more drastic – high level – approach to ensure minority high school students desiring to pursue post high school education challenges are up to the task and measure up to the forthcoming and rigorous academic standards.
In a seminal report, the graduate level education expectations and career predictions estimates that by 2010, 2.6 million new jobs in the United States will require an advanced degree. While we have passed this timeline the issue remains the same in 2015 and beyond. If the county wants to fill jobs, graduate schools need to do a better job of preparing students for a range of careers. This prediction, then, is a wake-up call for the need to prepare high school students, administrators and teachers, and parents about the importance of academic preparedness. This means helping students prepare. Hence high schools should provide stronger academic and career counseling, invite company executives to talk to students, and do more to connect students to the real world.
Dr. Claude Alexander said in PowerNomics, “Blacks in America must educate its children through community based partnerships between students, teachers, parents, churches, and businesses. The same building principles that were useful in rebuilding our communities can be applied to schools, which are essential institutions in functional communities. Schools are also communities in and of themselves that should be built based upon a strong sense of community, trust, cooperation and group accountability. When teachers, children, and parents work together toward group goals, they mutually evolve into a community of interest that they control.”
Taking our lead from those words, coupled with our own in depth research on how to best promote the Foundation’s commitment to educating to our future generation; the Board of Directors, along with the President, have amended The RPCard Foundation’s Mission. Beginning immediately instead of awarding scholarships directly to students, The RPCard Foundation Partners, Inc. will engage in partnerships with other likeminded foundations to provide dollars to hire and maintain full-time in-school counselors. These counselors along with teachers and parents will provide academic guidance to ensure each student is moving toward the goals needed to meet the rigorous standards being developed for entry to college; especially math and reading. This includes ensuring students receive tutoring, supplemental training towards the formation of good study habits and research proficiency, career guidance, and steering students toward the prudent selection of a college/university that meets their identified career objectives.
The RPCard Foundation realizes this is a major undertaking and we do not take this challenge lightly. We feel too many students are not prepared for college. Based on many commentaries put forth today by the media and scholars alike, students are entering colleges unprepared. They are graduating from high school with minimal competencies. Minority students in particular are entering community colleges with less than par academic capabilities. They often do not complete what they started because they realize after a couple of semesters they cannot compete with their peers who achieved above average academic preparedness at the high school level. Those that drop-out often do not return and as a consequence do not possess the minimal skills for many of the higher paying jobs available to those who complete college. All too often employers around the nation report that they have jobs but cannot find people qualified to fill specialized positions. Sad is the fact that many minority individuals who want to work full below the minimal standards to qualify for these positions.
The RPCard Foundation is committed to bringing about a change in the minds of students, their parents, and school administrators as it relates to psychology surrounding minorities and the perceived idea that they are lazy and not up to the challenge of elevating their readiness for college and graduate school. We believe the power rests not only with the student but with his/her parents, the high school system, and the perception that they achieve their dreams if they put their minds to it. This means they have to be taught and encourage at an early age that “education is ongoing.
~ Malcolm J. Stubblefield, Chairmen
A message from the President.....
The Foundation will selectively assist minority students and/or minority veterans who attend college at the senior level - who are one to two quarters/semester from graduation - but are on the verge of dropping out because they do not have the existing funds necessary to graduate. In such instances the Foundation will work directly with the college/university to ensure the student and/or veteran has the necessary supplemental financial means to complete what they started. The degree to which the Foundation can assist students in this instance will depend solely on the amount of cash on hand that is available through our fundraising efforts, or by way of grant dollars that are directly tied to this endeavor..