The future of Hispanics will be determined by how educated our community will be. The US Census Bureau estimated the Hispanic population at 47 million, or 15%, of the population of the United States. This number is impressive; however, our projected growth reveals how powerful our presence will continue be in our nation in the upcoming years. The landscape of the US has been shaped and changed by our numbers. But it is not enough to be the largest majority in the US. We must also prepare to become the force that can propel our numbers to a brighter and more prosperous future.
Hispanics lag in academic achievements in the US. According to the PEW Hispanic Center, 52% of foreign-born Hispanic adults are high school dropouts and 25% of native born are as well. These figures are alarming. An uneducated Hispanic population will have less access to competitive jobs, salaries to keep them above the poverty line, and opportunities to overcome their social and financial disadvantages. Hispanics who drop out are more likely to suffer struggles brought about by unemployment. They also display more incidences of poor health, are more likely to be on public assistance and become single parents. As can be seen, the consequences for dropping out of school are ominous. Moreover, drop out parents who do not instill the value of education in their children may doom them to repeat the same deconstructive patterns.
Educated Hispanics should be in the trenches working to bring down the Hispanic dropout rate. For starters, as part of the same ethnic group, we are all representative of our cultures and peoples. Unfortunately, the higher the numbers of uneducated Hispanics, the more negative and permeated stereotypes will follow us all. Enhancing our population to achieve more will benefit us all in the short and long run. Furthermore, the social problems that emerge from lack of education among our population will shrink as more of our children become educated. Currently, our tax money is utilized to provide public assistance to those who are uneducated and suffering from the associated social ailments. As more of our population has access to education, the best our taxes are going to be utilized to strengthen our nation and benefit us all.
If we are the largest minority, we need something to show for it. It is not enough to be large in numbers. Our Hispanic population must also rise and step up to become key players in all realms of the social and political spheres of this great country we call home. We should all care about the education of our children because we all pay the consequences, one way or the other, if we don’t.