Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Advice to a friend

What I would like for you to take away from this is that everyone is struggling these days, there isn't a whole lot of money to go around and we have to make smart educated choices so that we can make the most out of the money we do have at our disposal.  My friend's father sent her an email the other day when she asked him for help with money and bills.  Here is the letter that he wrote to her and my response. I would like to see what you think of the advice both her father and I gave her.

This is his response to her:  Dear, these are the options that I would recommend because you can not come up to Temecula and live there either. The job situation is the same there as it is in San Diego County... Nothing different. You got a financial situation and you want to go to school in the spring... You still living somewhere and you have no money to pay.. That is the first problem you have. You want someone to give you money for food. Well you will get money but for a ticket to fly back to Atlanta so you can regroup and go to school down there. You will have a place to live there and plenty of food to eat there. Now that is the first option. Second option you can join the Airforce, Navy or Coast Guard for 4 years of active duty, pay your debts off, travel the world and have money for school, VA loan for a house and plenty of time to figure out what you need to do to make a life for yourself. Since you do not have the skills right now to get a good job and even if you do get a job it will be a dead end for you because what technical skills do you have to offer a company.... Lets get real... Now that is your second option. We give you money it will be for you to go to Atlanta and not just for food for you to eat... That is not helping you at all. You just sitting around waiting for something to happen is not going to cut it... email me your address and let me know when you are ready to go back home. Now you are beginning to realize that you can not live off other people and you certainly can not live anywhere for free. Your choice... Your life... But these are your options right now... As you get more experiences in the workforce then your options will change but for now you need to take my advice and regroup before things get too bad... I am not telling you to give up but what I am telling you is that you are not a resident of California and you can do better in Georgia going to school and getting more benefit from there... Sorry but I got to do it this way... You are grown and now you got to receive it like I give it too you... THis is what happens to children that don't want to listen to anyone... And make plans that are not realistic....My email is ............. You let me know what you decide....But you got to make moves soon...With Love Daddy..

After reading the email I wrote this in response: Hey there Honey, I read what your dad wrote and I understand your concern. You need to think about this from outside of the box. I know you have been reading my blog. You have to divorce your feelings of disappointment from the situation as well as your own pride and anger...A change of perspective is what you need.
Please keep in mind that what your Dad said was given out of pure love and total honesty. I know that what he said hurts and makes you want to dig in harder to just prove him wrong. But on the off chance that he is right are you prepared to face the consequences?
You have to keep in mind that every choice or action we choose that there is a direct and dire reward/consequence we have to accept for them. Now, your father gave you two options but there are actually quite a bit more that might be open too you depending on the situation. There is one thing that will change depending on staying in Cali or returning to GA, which is residency. This is a major thing as far as school is concerned. If you were to go back to GA you could enroll and start school without any waiting, you can take out the maximum amount of financial aid each semester and have enough money for books and tuition plus living expenses. You would also qualify for either student housing on or off campus at a much reduced price to accommodate the amount you would get in financial aid. I am only putting this out there because I know what you are trying to accomplish you and I have talked about this. (Remember I was the Financial Aid Director at American InterContinental University in Atlanta for several years).
If you stay in Cali you have to wait till you become a resident to qualify for instate tuition and the extra tacked on for being an out of state transfer student would eat up any of the extra funding you would get for housing. In Atlanta you wouldn't have that extra tacked on. The second option that your father gave you was the Military any branch of service. Now it is true that you would have to complete your basic training (boot camp) and your first series of schools before being sent to your duty station. However, that is education that is worth something to you. For several reasons and let me explain why....not only will it give you job skills that you can and will use in the course of your military career, it also will give you real world practical experience and will help you when you get out and are looking for work. But the other side of that coin is all military training is worth college credit hours too you and can be applied to any school that you want them too. You only have to wait a total of 9 months (approximately some training is more and some less in the military) before you are sent to your first duty station. Once you are assigned a duty station and have reported. You will probably need to take a bit of time and get used to your duty schedule and rotation. Once you have that under your belt and know when and what you are going to be doing. You can apply to a College in the area in which you are stationed. You can apply your military work toward college credit and be that much further ahead in your degree work, it also primes you for going into the Officer Candidacy program...more pay, better benefits and choice duty stations while you are in the military. Just because you do one thing doesn't mean you can't do both at the same time.
Now here are some other things to consider. You just graduated High School in June right? You haven't been out of school that long, you have accomplished a lot. You have gotten yourself all the way to California, got a place to stay and are doing okay for yourself. Money is tight an you are struggling, and are having a problem finding jobs. Am I correct in those assumptions so far?
Consider this you are a young black female that is on hard times, there is public assistance out there that you qualify for. You can get foodstamps, because you have no income! You can also qualify for section 8 housing because you are also unemployed. You need to check with the Department of Labor, I am sure that they have a One-Stop resource and career center near you. Being fresh out of high school you qualify for services there...they can help you with resume writing, interviewing techniques, and possibly computer training such as Office essentials (word, power point, excel, outlook and sharepoint) This type of training will help you get placement in an office type setting and bring you some income and it will also increase your skills set and open a whole new realm of job opportunities. Take some typing tests and increase your typing skills and get a job as a secretary or receptionist.
2 other possibilities remain, now keep in mind any of the things that I am writing to you about can happen in GA or CA it doesn't matter you qualify for the help. You can also check out JobCorp, a lot of people think they only help with High School and practical training. JobCorp also has college type of campuses so you can check them out. You can also check out the Vocational Rehabilitation program and see if you qualify. You may not because you haven't been out of work for a year, but you never know till you try. The other thing that you need to check into is working for some temporary agencies. I am sure that you can find a good job with one of those. I know I did when I first started out. I got so good at typing I can type 65 words a minute on a good keyboard. I know Microsoft office products like the back of my hand and a whole bunch of other stuff...i just went into a temporary agency applied and kept taking their tests till I was good enough to pass them and before you know it I was making 10 to 15 dollars an hour.
I am not telling you to give up your hopes and dreams. I am not telling you that you should go back to GA. I want you to make that decision on your own. But I also want you to be honest with yourself and try like I have told you to change your perspective and look at the situation from every possible angle with logic and not emotion. I want you to realize that what your daddy said was done out of love and concern for you and your welfare and not out of a genuine desire to not help you. He wants to set you up for success and keep you from failing. If you stay in CA you maybe just setting yourself up for failure because before you have even started anything, job, school or anything else you are already burdened down with debt...That can truly keep you behind the 8 ball and keep you from succeeding. Once you fall behind you stay behind, retreating and regrouping is a common strategy used by the military and it works. It gives you the resources close at hand to journey back out and attack with full force. You can only attack with half force if you are divided by financial concerns. Just keep that in mind.
Whatever way you decide to go there are many more options than the ones presented here, you just have to change your perception and perspective enough to see all the different possibilities. Because there are an infinite number, you just have to see them to be able to make an informed choice. Because you don't want to pay for a bad choice later.
I would like to put this in my blog for today if you don't mind. I would like to use what your dad wrote to you from your post and my response to you if you wouldn't mind. Let me know please! I think what you are going through a lot of other young people are also struggling with and this could help them to look at their situation and make informed choices.
Each of us makes decisions and choices in our lives, and we have to live with the consequences of them.  Sometimes it is hard for younger people to understand that, they haven't experienced enough of life yet. But as I keep telling everyone, there are more solutions than just two.  For every problem there is an infinite number of solutions and that makes for a lot of different possibilities.  We have to be able to make rational and realistic evaluations of the problem to come up with workable solutions.  I talked to my friend today and she has decided to take a combination of what her dad and I advised her to do and came up with a really workable solution and a sound plan of action which should work out very well for her.
All it takes is looking at the problem from all different angles, change that perception and perspective and see it for what it really is.
Here is what she decided to do: No a matter of fact now that I think about it I'm going to do all three...go to Savannah state to build up my college credits then transfer if into the military ..Then get a job down there and save up my money as well for back up and emergencies

I think that this new plan that she came up with will work for her and her needs.

I hope you all take a really good look at this and understand that education is very important and you need to do whatever you can to get in there and do it.  You will be so much better off in the long run if you just do it. Because believe it or not everyone is looking for college graduates these days, it is very hard to get a job without a good solid education.  Here is a girl that just graduated high school last June and has worked to save up money to move to California to pursue her dream.  She didn't figure how tight the job market was going to be and how tough it was for her to get a job out there.  But all in all you have to admire her faith and dedication to herself and her learning.  Here is someone that has their priorities straight and will be going somewhere in the near future.  As I told her she cannot look at this as a defeat or failure, sometimes the best strategy is to regroup and come at it from a different way.  Which she has decided to do.  Never cut yourself off from your resources, don't burn your bridges and keep open lines of communication so that your support network is firmly in place.  She did all of these things correctly but just didn't make it. That doesn't mean it was wasted effort or that she failed because in my eyes, she could never fail. She took a leap of faith and did something that most people would never do, moved across the country to a place where she really had no one and nothing and still made it work has been out there for almost a year and did it all on her own.

I am very proud of you Girl, keep up the good work, and know that I am here for you always if you need me.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B