Parents, how many times have you told your kids they have to finish their homework and study before they can do any “cool” things? Just about every parent I’ve met says that their child’s education is their number one priority. And why do parents set this goal? Because they want to make sure their kid has everything they want when they grow up. And because being poor is not cool.

What’s cool today to your child (hanging out with friends, buying new shoes, etc.) are all distractions from the goal you have for them as grownups. So next time tell them this: “You know what’s NOT cool? Being poor.”

I recently read a very good report from Ed Lazere and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. It says exactly what we all know: get a college education or get left behind. Or, as 50 Cent said, “Get rich or die tryin'” … and the best way to do that is by getting a college degree.

If that catches their attention then use the great statistics and points made by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute below:

The growing job challenges of DC residents without a college education—including falling wages, stubbornly high unemployment, and an economy where job growth is concentrated in industries requiring advanced education and skills—highlight the urgency of helping more residents get better jobs.DC’s economy is expanding, but many new jobs require advanced education and skills. Job growth over the past 25 years has been greatest in professional and business services and education—industries where core jobs generally require higher levels of skills and education. Meanwhile, industries that generally do not require higher level skills—such as manufacturing and trade—have been in decline.

In addition to the challenge of finding a job, DC residents without a college degree face falling wages, whereas college-educated residents enjoy increasing pay. Wages have fallen $2 an hour since 1980 for residents with a high school diploma, to just $13 an hour for the typical worker. Meanwhile, hourly pay for the typical college-educated DC resident has risen $5 an hour, after adjusting for inflation.

It’s time for us to do better by our children. Let’s just hope we have the willpower to tell them bluntly: “You know what’s NOT cool? Being poor. So, we’re going to get you a college degree no matter what it takes … or die tryin’.

By: Anonymous SW Resident

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