Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Not Leaving Education Behind

Last Sunday on Extreme Home Makeover, the crew rebuilt a house for this family:
Michelle and Jesus Jacobo are hard-working parents that have sacrificed everything to keep their family together. In addition to having four children of their own, they took in their five nieces and nephews after Michelle's sister lost custody of the children. The Jacobos made room for them in their small home so that they wouldn't be lost to the foster care system. Michelle's father, Grandpa Ray, is also living in the house and helping raise the nine children, who range in age from 6 months to 18 years.

(the whole bio of this family can be found here) These stories are always moving and emotional, but what really got me was when Missouri Western State University promised full scholarships, including room and board, to all 9 kids. I admit it, I cried.

Though my property class may have taught me the importance of providing affordable and habitable housing, law school itself has reinforced to me the importance of education. It's a little crazy to think of how much you can do with a law degree. 4 years of a college degree can open up doors, and 3 more years of law school make the possibilities seem endless. Not that everyone wants to go to college or law school, but there should be at least the equal opportunity for those who work hard and want it. I know that my parents, refugees who came with next to nothing, had that opportunity and seized it. But not everyone has that now.

I've always wanted to explore education law and policy later but it always seemed to go on the backburner for other "sexier" issues. I mean, I loved exploring cybersecurity, terrorism, and civil liberty issues but how I got so involved in that area is beyond me. So I'm reprioritizing it and writing my 48-60 page casenote for law review on it. Who knows if this is the field of law I'll be focusing on in practice, but they told us to write something that we're really interested in, so I'm doing it thanks to some guidance from my favorite con law prof. Be prepared to hear about No Child Left Behind.

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