Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – Lasting Effects of Children in Poverty

Name: Ashton Childs
From: Williamson, Georgia
Grade: 10
School: Pike County High School
Votes: 0

Volunteering at my local primary school and working with
kindergarteners brought light to the challenges that children are
forced to face when living in poverty. It is evident even with
children who are only five years old which ones come from lower
income families. These children are born with an immediate
disadvantage compared to those born into wealth. Students who live in
poverty also experience a more stressful home environment which
affects their social and academic development. While volunteering I
witnessed lower income students struggle to develop relationships
with their peers. Many of these children entered kindergarten not
ready for school and are struggling to achieve academic success.
According to research, students living in poverty are more likely to
drop out of high school than those living in the middle or upper
class. Social class should never affect a student’s ability to
perform well at school. Witnessing the struggles brought on by
poverty caused me to realize that poverty affects more than just the
house people live in and the clothes they wear. It affects their
mental and social health which is more damaging to a person’s
overall wellbeing. I now understand why the cycle of poverty
continues and must stop and contemplate my role in society to end
this epidemic.

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