As I See It – Gen. Collin Powell on education – Kids need structure to succeed!

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America lost a great public servant, a noble soldier, an excellent father, a great grandfather, a superb American and above all, one who has a great concern for the kids in the person of Ret. Gen, Colin Powell who passed away yesterday at the age of 84 due to COVID-19 complication despite he being fully vaccinated against the virus.

He was known for his excellent record as a great soldier, a government official being the first Black Secretary of State, and a great statesman. Aside from these fields, however, unknown to many, he was a great proponent of education and he cared most for the future of our school children.

His family said in a statement posted to Facebook, that Powell was fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Also, Powell’s longtime aide, Peggy Cifrino told the Associated Press that he had been treated in recent years for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that impairs the body’s ability to fight infection.

Surprisingly, with his death, the former soldier and statesman becomes perhaps the most high-profile American public figure to succumb to a so-called breakthrough infection of the novel coronavirus, which continue to be a major concern not only by individuals affected but by the administration of President Joe Biden.

Former President George W. Bush said in selecting him to lead the State Department in December 2000 said: “Gen. Powell is an American hero, an American example and a great American story. It’s a great day when a son of the South Bronx succeeds to the office first held by Thomas Jefferson.”

Bush also compared him to another diligent, straight-arrow military leader who became secretary of State: “I would say of Gen. Powell what Harry Truman said of Gen. [George] Marshall: He is a tower of strength and common sense.”

As for President Joe Biden, he echoed that praise in a statement Monday, declaring Powell “a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity” who “embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat.”

Jeffrey J. Matthews wrote in “Colin Powell: Imperfect Patriot,” his 2019 book: “Raised by immigrant parents in a working-class neighborhood of New York’s South Bronx, Powell never excelled in academics or athletics, nor did he display the extroverted qualities so often associated with burgeoning young leaders.”

However, while he didn’t excel in academics in college, he excelled in the ROTC program, a field he likes doing and loves most, and he graduated with a commission as a second lieutenant, launching a military career that would take him to almost unimaginable heights for a soldier who did not attend a military academy.

“Colin is quintessentially a good soldier,” said Caspar Weinberger, President Ronald Reagan’s Defense secretary. “He does his duty and carries out orders. He was a professional soldier for 35 years.

Unknown to many, he believes in education and he cares for the future of the students, the children who are the future of the country. For them to succeed, he said we need to provide the structure that will make them succeed and education can surely answer the call.

His advice to the graduating class: “My advice I have for you is, keep looking, keep looking until you find that which you love doing and that what you do well. And when you put those two together, you have put in place the roadmap for a successful and satisfying life. Make sure you give a good measure of your time as you think about the future. Make sure that you share the talent and the time and the treasure you have with others who are in greater need than you. Money and position will or will not follow, but satisfaction will always be there, always having a purpose in life beyond just position and money. Above all, participate in the governing of this country. Serve on local committees, join school boards, join a nonprofit organization, seek public service, run for elective office, if that is your inclination.” This is the structure Powell was talking about.

He continued – “And we owe our kids the best possible education. The forward-thinking nations in the world know that their future will be determined by how well they educate their people, their young people, and the large part of my life is now spent on young people and their education. 17 years ago, at the request of President Clinton and all of our living presidents, we created The America’s Promise Alliance.America’s Promise has become one of the largest youth-serving alliances in the country with hundreds of partners. We are an umbrella organization, and the major effort of America’s Promise now is to make sure that we become a nation of graduates, a grad nation, and we’ve been working very hard on this project.America’s promise is now chaired by my wife, Alma, and she held a summit earlier this week to review the progress that we’ve made. And I’m pleased to say that for the first time in America’s history, our high school graduation rate has gone over 80% of all-American young people. It’s a remarkable achievement, and we should be proud of us coming together.”

Americans, Powell said, are coming together to support education… because Americans understand that without an educated citizenry, we are not going to be as competitive as they need to be, to participate in the 21st-century world economy…”

Powell is the founding chair of America’s Promise Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the lives of children.

Time Magazine (At the John F., Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Nov. 20, 2013 in Washington, DC)– featured Gen. Colin Powell on his new effort to help kids succeed:the presence of stable, trusting adult relationships in the lives of young people is a key factor — perhaps the key factor — in keeping them in school. Children need to get a high-quality education, avoid violence and the criminal-justice system and gain jobs. But they deserve more. We want them to learn not only reading and math but fairness, caring, self-respect, family commitment and civic duty.

We hope and expect that it will make opportunity for all young people a real priority. Standing in support of children is something we should all be able to get behind, regardless of party affiliation

This, to him, was the single most important thing we can do for our kids… the structure they need to make them succeed!

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