It Takes a Community
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When
she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, "Little girl, why are you doing this? Look
at this beach! You can't save all these starfish. You can't begin to make a difference!"
girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it
as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, "Well, I made a difference to that one!"
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the
little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
Perseverance against great odds and against the criticism
of others is the very hallmark of value based idealism, as is refusing to accept failure. The understanding that we hold in
our hands the power to change a life, a mind, or a circumstance today - right now - is a powerful insight and motivator. At
the same time, idealistic acts, even highly symbolic ones, have the power to inspire others to act, and sometimes in numbers
significant enough to make a major or even complete impact on the problem at hand. Perhaps most inspiring of all is to witness
the idealistic power of children and young people in action. The idealism of youth is a powerful force for leading change
in the world. Often it is our youth who put into action values that we have instilled in them- but have failed to act on ourselves.
The world, therefore, depends on the idealism of youth to lead the way. (1)
MBP Healthy Living Youth Scholarship Program
understands the concept of the starfish story; and knows there are numerous barriers related to students entering and completing
post secondary education in under-represented areas in Michigan. The lack of knowledge in academic preparation, educational
finances and available resources are just few out of many that have been addressed and continue to be addressed today. According
to American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) of Washington DC, states current high school education practices do not always address
the preparatory needs of students to access post-secondary education. Only one-third of those who graduate leave high school
qualified to attend four year colleges. The lack of awareness had many layers that can cause barriers for students such as
a family's socioeconomic status and parental attainment.
MBP Healthy Living Youth Scholarship Program has two
objective 1) is to bring early awareness and knowledge to elementary, middle and high school students by providing website
resources, leadership and academic workshops, financial aid and scholarship education programs, provide programs that involve
community interaction with teachers, counselors, administrators and parents like fundraising events, and college tours. 2)
Scholarship advocacy, is for the students to find ways to earn scholarship dollars while still attending elementary,
middle and high school. The goal is to prepare them to be more responsible for their own academic career by teaching them
to earn their own scholarship dollars.
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