Our speaker for March 5th was Reza Khastou, founder of Bright Future & Basic and Transitional Studies, posits that our education troubles stem from two internal enemies. They are the unjust distributions of wealth and of knowledge and skills. Despite several government attempts at remedy, nothing availed. Moreover, appallingly low graduation and high dropout rates, mainly among black and Hispanic students, needed to be addressed. Other issues entailed, for those who made it to graduation, insurmountable student debt and inability to find work in one’s field. In many cases, career training should have begun much earlier, to wit, in high school.
To deal with these troubling circumstances, Khastou instituted the Bright Future & Basic and Transitional Studies program. Its aim: to make education meaningful to targeted students…to provide workforce education with hands-on…to have this work force education focused and intensive…to provide a tighter community that can focus on the individual. Case management is an integral part of the program.
Bright Future provides that students enter a college-level training program in the high school of parents’ choice. Credits go to both high school and community college. There is academic career counseling for either a job or further education.
Transition to a job is the ideal to be aimed at. Programs include Health Care Specialties, Cosmetology, Applied Math, Elective English, Social Studies, and more. Some scholarships and other financial aid are available.
Benefits from the program, already observed include:
–Higher high school and college graduation rates
–Close advisory system by the staff leads to students’ success.
–Unlike much college preparation, this program is practical.
–Dropouts often return and are re-engaged.
–Many benefactors have become interested.
–Skills can be taken anywhere there may be opportunities.
–Income from jobs circulates through the community and in turn aids the base.
–Social Security benefits are enhanced.
Comment: A vision whose results speak for themselves