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When discussing real solutions to the problems that many Black students face, the first things I think about are my own educational experiences as a young, black woman from Brooklyn. Coming from a low-income, single parent household in a community filled with over-crowded / under-performing inner-city schools the odds were stacked up against me. And yet like many other Black students before me I found myself on the path to college and a fulfilling career. I found myself taking advantage of previously unimaginable opportunities because outside of school my mother found youth programs that helped to supplement what I was learning in school and at home.

Such programs have had a positive impact on my life and the lives of many other students of color. Everyday children across America attend after school and pre-college programs at which they generate a renewed sense of themselves through new arenas of support. In spite of overcrowded classrooms and out dated books, students can further develop their minds with the help of the one-on-one training and co-curriculum classes that these organizations provide. For the most part, these programs typically offer tutoring, summer instruction, workshops, internships, and career counseling.

While it's important for the Black Community to find new ways to solve our educational concerns, I think it's equally important to highlight those solutions that are presently making a positive impact on the lives of our children. I strongly believe that as a collective entity, many of the youth programs that exist today are real solutions to our educational problems. It is for this reason that I take the time to expose more Black parents and students to opportunities outside the classroom with my self-published book 'A Better Today Brings a Brighter Tomorrow'. In it you will find information about youth organizations for minority students in New York and across the United States. The Programs range from after school tutoring, pre-college preparation, mentoring, talent, summer opportunities and career training. It’s a great resource for anyone, even non-New Yorkers, because it breaks down the different types of programs that exist for young people in practically every state. This book is available in print and e-book form on www.lulu.com/msoy.

‘A Better Today Brings a Brighter Tomorrow’ is my real solution to improving education for Black students today. What is yours?

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