The wealth gap: How education fails to measure economic disadvantage

When Ajuah Helton was a college student, her financial aid package came up a few thousand dollars short. What happened next threw her off course.

Her mom took out a high-interest federal loan that she ultimately couldn’t repay. The next year, her mom wanted to avoid more loans, but didn’t have other funds to tap into. Helton, out of options, left school for a semester to work to make up the difference.

“That’s with a mom who was fully employed, college-educated, but did not come from anything that allowed her to say, ‘Oh $5,000? Let me just go to my bank account or my stock market and pull out a little bit of cash,’” Helton says.

Helton, who is Black, did graduate. She is now the national director of KIPP Through College, a program designed to help students like herself earn college diplomas. But every day, she sees her own

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Michelle Singletary: Stop telling Black people we could close wealth gap if we valued education more – News – telegram.com

In a 10-part series for Sundays titled “Sincerely, Michelle,” Michelle Singletary gets personal about misconceptions involving race. This is the second column in the series, but each one stands alone as well.

WASHINGTON – Dear Reader,

I probably would have never gone to college had I not spent two months of my childhood in a hospital.

While in middle school, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The pain in my legs became so bad that I couldn’t walk. My grandmother, “Big Mama,” a nursing assistant who raised me from the time I was 4, couldn’t afford to miss work to take me to the daily physical therapy appointments I needed to walk without pain. So I stayed at the hospital. I cried a lot over the isolation from my grandmother and my two brothers and two sisters, whom she also was raising.

The director of the physical therapy department,

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