I’m the result of when we invest in the future

Posted: August 11, 2012 by Keith Townsend in Uncategorized
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Growing up my family skirted between being a middle class family to living in below the poverty line.  At one point in our lives my dad could afford to buy us an IBM compatible PC in the late 80’s before they were a common household item to “borrowing” electricity from the hall way to keep the refrigerator running.  These experiences have given me a unique perspective on life.  I can fully appreciate the peaks and values of life as I learned how to be happy with very little and happy in periods of financial prosperity.

It has also given me a proper perspective on what it takes for under privileged children to reach their potential.  I had an extended family that believed in heavy investment in the children of the family.  My grandmother especially believed in keeping us engaged as a way to keep us out of trouble.  For those of us that didn’t have summer school she worked hard to find summer programs sponsored by the government or non-for-profits.  These programs ranged from a summer computer camp, a summer tutoring program at the University of Chicago and after hours tutoring at the clinic she received dialysis.  The combination of the support of my parents and these programs changed my life.  I’m currently a Computer Systems Architect at one of the most advanced engineering companies in the world.  This is a direct result of my exposure to these programs.

These programs opened up a world that a kid from Englewood never knew existed.  I got exposed to what I didn’t know was a world class university, got introduced to my profession and tutoring in advanced science, technology and math.  Without these opportunities to supplement a Chicago public school education and my parent’s limited education, I would be just another kid from the inner-city that didn’t reach their potential.

This is why from a political prospective I tend to lean to the left.  We need these programs to continue both from the government and from non-for-profits.  Kids need to be exposed to worlds outside of what they see out of their windows.  Let me tell you from experience what they see out their windows is not very inspiring.

I’m looking forward to sharing detailed stories of my history and about the people and places that helped me along the way.

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