Andy Sipple and I just returned home from a ceremony at the STMA high school having awarded $750 scholarships to over thirty senior students. If we do nothing else as a council, this event alone is worth the current year's work. It is the single most satisfying thing that we do. Our youth are in need of all the help they can get.
Kids today start worrying about SAT tests as early as the 9th-grade in this hyper-credentialed culture they are forced to contend with. It was not that big of a deal as recently as 1979-1981 when I attended the U of M. We surely did not spend one whole school day on one test (ridiculous nonsense).
This was all in hopes of becoming "successful" as a student in hot pursuit of a top-rate (if not liberal progressive) education. This, of course, would lead to the landing of a great, high-paying position and rewarding career. The debt most of them will incur is a faint whisper in the far back corner of their young conscience. The debt Godzilla will surely rear its burdensome head shortly after they toss the tasseled hat in the air at the graduation ceremony.
We need to focus our attention much more on targeted education in the form of community college, trade school, on-the-job training and such. Major public sector universities and state colleges continue to raise tuition while at the same time bellying up to the public hog-trough to feast on tax-payer cash. Some enterprising publication needs to dispatch a team of energetic young reporters to investigate all of these colleges' and universities' spending habits. I suspect some extensive waste ("just saying"). They are all in secret possession of bloated endowment funds. Most if not all of them could offer free tuition for all students for decades to come with this ever growing stash. What on earth are they planning for all of this money? Here is some information on university endowment funds for parents who struggle to find funds to help their kids: Yale-$27 billion, Texas University system-$26.5 billion, Stanford-$24.7 billion, Princeton-$23.8 billion, MIT-$14.9 billion, etc.
Our own University of Minnesota is #24 on the list and has $4 billion in a large maroon and gold piggy bank with a gopher on it. This has never delayed their annual trip to the capitol to sing for more cold tax-payer cash from our complicit legislators. Having stated all of this, it is a wonderful thing we do as a council to help these kids in a small way to lessen the financial strain.
It has been great serving Council 4174 KCs for the past two years as Grand Knight and the past seven years as an officer. I look forward to helping out Andy as best I can and wish him and all officers Godspeed as they take over. I know we will be in good hands.