Post Covid-19 Initiatives
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 minority students seeking advanced degrees in the medical field must be given the tools and encouragement to pursue academic excellence. 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, but many individuals seeking higher education credentials find it difficult to obtain the financial support needed to work through tremendous challenges governing their daily living expenses. We feel a need exists that calls for a more sweeping approach to ensure minority graduate level students desiring to pursue academic challenges are up to the task and measure up to the forthcoming and rigorous academic standards.
At The RPCard Foundation we strive for and promote preparedness: in other words, we feel Foundation dollars would be better utilized by offering assistance to institutions of higher learning to identify and track selected students. Participating higher learning institutions will select students based on specific criteria (to be determined) and track each student’s progress at each level of his/her graduate level journey.
In a seminal report, the graduate level education expectations and career predictions estimates that having an advanced degree by 2030 will be a high bar surrounding employer expectations. It is projected employment will grow 7.7 percent from 2020 to 2030; 1.7 percent excluding COVID-19r recovery. Total U.S. employment is projected to grow form 153.5 million to 165.4 million in this time line, an increase of 11.9 million jobs, or 7.7 percent. It is estimated 3.6 million new jobs in the United States will require an advanced degree (BLS, 2022). While we have passed this timeline the issue remains the constant in 2022 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 in the medical field. This prediction, then, is a wake-up call for the need to assist aspiring graduate level students.
Here at The RPCard Foundation, our goal is focused on the cost of living expenses minority graduate students will (and currently) bare during their efforts to succeed in their chosen medical fields of study and eventual practice. Our efforts also center on enlightening institutions of higher learning and perspective employers about the importance of providing cost-of-living expenses to aspiring minority students.
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. 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 lack the financial capabilities to effectively succeed in graduate school. Over and above the award of student loans, scholarships and/or grants, the costs of living, such as childcare, housing, eating healthy, medical expenses, transportation, the list is endless, often inhibits the realization of successful outcomes. They often do not complete what they started because they realize after a couple of semesters, they cannot handle the stressors associated with managing their daily lives to the lack of finances. Those that drop-out often do not return and, consequently, feel like failures. 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 in the medical field pursuant to what the job description calls for.
The RPCard Foundation is committed to bringing about a change in the psychology surrounding minorities and the perceived idea that they are lazy and not up to the challenge of elevating their readiness for graduate school. All too often “money” or the lack thereof is the culprit. We believe the power rests not only with the student but with institutions of higher learning themselves and perspective employers, coupled with the perception graduate students can achieve their dreams if they put their minds to it, while simultaneously having the financial resources to succeed. Here, at The RPCard Foundation, we continuously subscribe to the belief that “education is ongoing.”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, retrieved August 20, 2022 from: https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/employment-to-grow-7-7-percent-from-2020-to-2030-1-7-percent-excluding-covid-19-recovery.htm#:~:text=SUBSCRIBE-,Employment%20to%20grow%207.7%20percent%20from%202020%20to%202030,percent%20excluding%20COVID%2D19%20recovery&text=Total%20U.S.%20employment%20is%20projected,million%20jobs%2C%20or%207.7%20percent.