Summer Jobs and Internships needed for our youth

Wilfredo “Wil” Rojas, M.Ed. | 8/6/2017, 1:28 p.m.
Like past years, many people in South Jersey truly enjoyed the Fourth of July holiday, but for me, I just ...
Wil Rojas

Like past years, many people in South Jersey truly enjoyed the Fourth of July holiday, but for me, I just couldn’t get into it like that this year. While many Americans were having a great time celebrating our nation’s independence, Washington, DC conservative extremists were busy working overtime to turn back the clock on liberal social policies and, not incidentally, to undermine efforts by advocacy groups, representing the interests of the marginalized and discriminated groups in America, who are working tirelessly on crafting a resistance movement. These groups are well-meaning and committed to advancing social concerns by advancing an aggressive agenda supporting America’s tradition of equal opportunity for its entire people.

At a time in our nation’s history where as Helen Ubiñas, an award-winning columnist at the Daily News, notes in a recent column, “The present divide in our nation is not about politics,… it’s about who and what we value.,” civil rights groups continue being trendsetters in a country of conflicting values with the audacity to continue fighting for a better America for all. What should be truly disturbing to Americans in the Trump era is the created ethnic power brokers, who, knowingly or unknowingly, serve as operatives in a far-ranging plot to divide America. While a small number of members of historically disenfranchised groups were dancing at the various ethnic Inaugural Balls in Washington, DC, there are even fewer sitting at the decision-making table at the federal level.

I don’t mean to steal your joy and I do truly hope you are having a wonderful summer, but, let me point out that many black and brown high school and college students in towns across South Jersey are not. The narrative is all too familiar, “Black and Brown youth have a high drop-out rate.” How many times have we read newspaper stories citing reports and studies which support this narrative? Folks, we have a problem; our black and brown students are not being exposed to the world of work to prepare them for the future and given an incentive to remain in school. Can I please get an Amen!

In last month’s edition, my colleague, John Harmon, president of the New Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce, enumerated in detail President Donald Trump’s 10-Point Plan for Black America, which by the way, includes Latinos, Asians and others. Speaking for minorities, the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, conceived after a contentious meeting between Trump and black ministers in April 2016, “supports Donald Trump and his solutions that address economic disparities, foster job creation, support small businesses, preserve faith & family principles and strengthen communities with conservative action.”

Many highly achieving black and brown high school and college students would like a job or an internship in a field of interest, where they can gain knowledge, get experience, and personally grow by actually working in a career that suits their interest. Working or interning would offer these students a great opportunity to learn and see how they can contribute to society. Obtaining higher education and landing a job in a viable career are options that will help narrow the economic disparities minority communities face in America, the land of opportunity.