Mckenzie P. Nevada

Workforce Training for High School Students

With the amount of student debt and the high chance of failure of seeking a career nowadays, workforce training in public high schools can potentially create a chance for low-income students to succeed and have a better life.

Dear Mr. / Mrs. President,

          The way our post-secondary education is turning out in our country is outrageous and nerve-racking to all high school students wishing to further their education. It’s as if you were born wealthy, you would have a better chance of going to college, than someone else who was born into poverty. As if they were destined to forever be doomed to poverty and debt due to the fact they couldn’t afford to go to college. The sad truth doesn’t end just here in our country. While thousands of college grads struggle to find a job, they don’t always find the career they got a degree in which leads to the grad stuck in a job that pays less with an overwhelming amount of student debt. This is not the American dream. Vocational school and any workforce training while still in free public schools will insure this problem won’t occur as much in working-class children.

       Forever destined to live a low-income life or even in poverty are in the minds of some kids who can’t get a hold of a scholarship. These students are more often than not viewed as the complete opposite of “college material.” Kati Haycock, president of the Washington, DC, Think Tank Education Trust notices the achievement gap and explains how schools using unfair practices and selecting creates an “educational caste system.” This “directs countless young people, especially low-income students and students of color, away from college-prep courses from seeing themselves as ‘college material.’” Not only is there a struggle to pay for high college education costs, but the struggle of these minority students to even be college ready and take specific college courses such as certain math classes in high school. 

        These working class kids are desperate for different alternatives these days, with work training on their minds. Low income New Yorkers took a poll by the Community Service Society of New York and found that “90 percent believe high school vocational training would be a good educational option for their own children.” But instead of closing the skills gap, or even helping those who couldn’t afford to achieve and learn those skills more than “$200 billion dollars is spent from the federal government a year on talent acquisition and training,” according to Jake Schwartz, CEO of General Assembly. That is more than $134 billion the government spends on student aid. With the average student loan debt of $37,172 and the vast majority of working class parents waiting for a change in their children’s current high school education, it shows how desperate America is for work training. 

         This is America’s plea for a change in post-secondary education and to live a better life. Living with thousands of dollars in student loan debt or with no way out of their city or even out of poverty is no where close to the American Dream we all know and want. We need you to have a plan for our future generations to live a life where student debt and college isn’t even a worry to any high school student. Classes or even more technical schools for high school students can insure a job right after high school for kids who are deemed unfit for college or can’t afford it. These kids would have a chance in being successful and even get out of the endless cycle of low-income living. Let America achieve this dream and quality way of life. Our education is the root to everything our country stands for.


                                                                                                                                        McKenzie Perez


“Should All Kids Go to College?” The Nation, Dana Goldstein Twitter, 29 June 2015

Warner, By Andy. “Is College Worth the Cost? An Illustrated Explainer.” The Lowdown, Andy Warner, 16 May 2016,

“What the Future of Tech Skills Education Could Look Like.” MindShift, Anya Kamenetz, 3 Nov. 2015,

Damonte Ranch High School

2nd Period

11th and 12th grade students. Dramatic Literature.

All letters from this group →