Allow me to introduce you to today's guest blogger, my beautiful wife of 23 years, Mrs. DaBlade. Mess with mama lion's cubs at your own risk! :)
I am employed at our local Catholic high school. One of my daily responsibilites is to update our student bulletin. This bulletin has information that keeps our students up to date on any pre-college programs along with all of the activities offered in the school. I usually don't read everything line by line however, our middle son is a junior at this high school and is therefore looking into colleges. As I was updating the different dates, I happen to read about a 5 week summer program offered by Kettering University if Flint. Now this is a school that we visited last fall with our son and is on his potential list. We were really impressed with their engineering programs and especially their co-op opportunity. The student goes to school for 13 weeks and then is employed with a participating company for 12 weeks. This is a great way for students to gain work experience and also earn an income while earning their degree. So when I read in our student bulletin that Kettering is offering a 5 week summer program for 11th grade students with a 3.0 GPA interested in science, math and engineering I thought this would be great opportunity for our son to experience this university. However, as I read the requirements I realized he didn't qualify. This is what it read,
"Juniors: Kettering University in Flint will hold the AIM program for African American, Hispanic and Native American students for 5 weeks this summer. This program seeks students with at least a 3.0 GPA and are interested in engineering, who have a strong interest in math and science. More info and application available in the guidance office, application deadline is April 20."
I thought to myself that this had to be a mistake they just forgot to put the W in front of the A or after the M. How could they be so discriminating? So, I made a phone call. The woman on the other end of the phone was very pleasant. I began by telling her that I have a son who happens to be a junior and he visited Kettering last fall. I told her that he is interested in attending a pre-college program. She said "Great let me look up some of the different programs we offer." I told her that I read about the AIM program in our student bulletin and wondered if a white male with a 4.0 GPA could attend. She became a little nervous and said well let's look at the requirements for that one. After she realized he wasn't qualified for that one, she let me look at some of the other programs we have. As she glanced at the "other programs" she began quickly going over the descriptions aloud. "Well here's one, no that is for women, Oh here's one, no that is for minorities. At this time I said, "you mean to tell me you have nothing for a blue-eyed, blonde-haired white, male with at 4.0 GPA?" She then told me I wasn't the first parent to ask that and it appears that the pedulum has swung to the other side. I said call it what it is, reverse discrimination.
I then asked to talk to her boss. She transferred me and I received a voice mail. I left a message with my phone number along with a brief description of what I wanted. About two hours later I received a phone call. He said he was returning my call and he understood that I was looking for a "free" summer program. I then told him that I didn't call about a "free program", that I called inquiring about a summer program for white males with a 4.0 GPA. He said "Oh yes we have one!" I then asked what the requirements were. He told I would have to go on their website and type into the search box "pre-college programs" and it would then direct me to the different programs offered. I pushed a little more for some explaination and after realizing that he didn't want to discuss it I agreed to look it up on the website. I quickly realized why he didn't want to discuss it with me. The program he was talking about is a 5 day program offered to 9th-12th grade students with a cost of $150.00. The AIM program was 5 weeks and guess what it is FREE.
After thinking about this situation I have come to the conclusion that my son is at a big disadvantage. It really doesn't matter how hard he works in high school to get ahead. He is not only the wrong color he is also the wrong sex. This university had many programs offered to women and minorities and he is only able to apply to one. All I want for my kids is a fair chance. I have always told them that if they work hard they will be rewarded. I don't believe that is true anymore. The students that are being rewarded are the one's that happen to be the right sex or nationality. By trying to make things fair society has made it impossible for some of us to be rewarded for old fashion hard work.