Lamonz Santos, Lifers Inc.
I read once that the idea of rewarding for good is more effective than punishment for wrong… In our society, we have been plagued with this idea of being tough on crime as the be all solution to ending crime. This theory has been tested, and has continued to fail as an effective deterrent. We’re still losing our youth to crime, murder, teen pregnancy, high school dropout, drug abuse, and all the like. So my thought… what if we took our most vulnerable population, and tested the theory of reward Specifically, those living in homes with a median income of $50,000 or less. What if we gave them monetary incentive just to stay in school? $500 just for completing a successful 9th grade year of high school, and $600 for completing the 10th grade, $700 for the 11th, and $1,000 for finishing high school.
After the age of 16 years old, if they maintain passing grades and they seek employment, give suitable businesses tax incentives just to hire and or create part time or summer jobs. (It is important to provide alternatives to the many negative influences impressing upon our youth.) Also, free local college should be provided for any student who graduates from high school, and guaranteed employment opportunity for graduates. Again giving businesses tax breaks to hire and employ up until the age of 21 years old. Also taking these youth to young adults, and creating a habitat for humanity style organization, where they have helped rebuild some of those dilapidated homes in our communities to assist in providing affordable living. And in those rural areas where there are not as many businesses to employ their youth, bring those kids to the city, and take some of the city kids to the rural areas to fix and provide affordable homes for those families in need, at the same time bridging some of those racial divides and helping to build community in the process, on both ends.
We have constantly claimed to believe in the old adage, “You get more with honey, than you do with vinegar”, yet for some reason we always go back to this rule with a iron fist mentality. How about we try something different. Being proactive BEFORE they fail. It’s a simple concept- the more who are encouraged and motivated to do right, the less we have encouraged and motivated to do wrong. Again, this concept is designed for those living below a certain economic threshold.