A Reflection on My Education
Brody, a former ONE Campus Leader and current ONE Campus intern, graduated a semester early, which has given him time to reflect on the impact that education has had on him. In the latest ONE Campus blog, Brody thinks back on his experience, in his own words:
Education has always been a certainty in my life. Both of my parents were educators. My mom worked as an elementary school teacher, and my dad worked as a school psychologist. Books could be found in every room of our house, and my parents made sure that I was reading them from an early age.
My parents enrolled me in school programs when I was four, I had a library card, and I had two college-educated parents to assist with my homework. My elementary and high schools were located less than a mile from my home, and I attended college at the University of Iowa (where I first got involved with ONE), just an hour’s drive from my hometown. My head start on learning enabled me to graduate from college early, and gave me time to reflect on my education.
My whole life has revolved around education. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t able to access books, and there was never a question that I would attend college. Without a doubt, I would not be where I am today without the incredible access to education I have enjoyed. I wouldn’t be able to write this blog or use the internet; finding food, driving, and other daily tasks would be more difficult; and my career path would be extremely limited.
I have been fortunate, but the reality is that 263 million children around the world are still not in school. These children have increased chances of falling victim to extreme poverty, hunger, trafficking, and even disease. Girls have even greater barriers to education, because poverty is sexist.
If you’ve read this far, consider yourself lucky, because half a billion women across the globe are unable to read. Child marriage, a lack of access to menstrual products, and gender discrimination keep 130 million girls across the world from accessing education, squandering their potential. Education provides financial literacy and security; it gives opportunities inaccessible to the uneducated. Ultimately, it opens doors — and through those doors, a person can step out of the cycle of poverty.
That’s why ONE Campus chapters are kicking off the spring semester with a Poverty is Sexist campaign on girls’ education. ONE Campus members (like me) know firsthand the power of an education and I couldn’t be more excited to work on this issue.
ONE Campus chapters and their members will be campaigning around the READ Act of 2017, which is a bi-partisan bill that would address the barriers to education that millions of children face around the world. This bill could open doors for the millions of children who do not have the same opportunities as I have had. It’s a step toward guaranteeing education for all.
Education benefits the entire world, not just those receiving it. Increased rates of education contribute to global prosperity and stability; lead to more equitable societies; increase global security; and allow children to avoid and overcome extremism in their regions.
This is why the READ Act is so important. My hope is that, through working together to pass this bill, children everywhere will have the same access to education that I enjoyed.