Carlos1Last week’s blog was about the three characteristics that disadvantaged students need for college success. The first was Exposure. Today’s musings are about the second quality that low-income students need for success in college: Recognition.

Most students from low-income minority backgrounds go to under-performing grade and high schools. Their education opportunities are incredibly inadequate compared to kids from higher performing public and private schools. Therefore, even though they do well in school, their skill set is undeveloped sometimes severely so. As Carlos Romero said, “Those (rich) kids almost spoke another language—they used words I had never heard of.”

For low-income kids to recognize this honestly is to also recognize that it is not their fault. They are not deficient, they just lack the preparation of the privileged. Once in college, with this recognition their self-esteem is not so impacted when they feel uncomfortable and behind academically. They know if they work hard they will catch up—usually by their junior year they do. As for Carlos, “I got a Thesaurus.”