Monday, January 24, 2011

Athletes Need Drop Out Prevention Help too

According to Dr. Stephen Jones each year more than 50 percent of African American students drop out of high school and college. This has a significant impact on athletes who play sports. The drop out rate is greatly affected by poor college preparation and study skills. The lack of academic preparation is evident in middle school and high school. Too often athletes are accepted into college without the preparation they need to graduate. The student athletes’ athletic prowess is valued more than their intellectual abilities. Some athletes are also blindsided when they uncover the huge academic deficits when they start college classes. This crisis will continue because of the abundance of athletes who can replace the athlete who is in academic difficulty.

This problem must be attacked head on. Athletes deserve to be prepared to succeed at all levels. The NCAA requires colleges to have an academic support center. Unfortunately often the academic gap is too large even for the tutors that are assigned to students. Although these students have graduated from high school these students arrive to college academically three and four years behind their peers. Middle schools and high school students must get academically caught up prior to enrolling in the college. Many of these students are coming from schools that are not making Adequate Yearly Progress according to the standards set by No Child Left Behind. There are some very basic elements of the education process that are critical for students to succeed in college and they include the ability to read and compute.

This crisis is not one that we can ignore. Too many extremely bright African Americans are ending up in prison. This includes former college athletes who do not have a degree. Every so many weeks it seems that there is an article about some athlete who is escorted into a court room and sent to jail. This is especially detrimental when they leave a stable wife and children to make it by themselves. This foretells a disastrous educational outcome for their children who cannot afford to attend the better schools.

Some organizations and colleges are tracking the exceptional student athlete as early as ten and twelve year old. Yet attention and devotion to ensuring that they maintain high levels of academic performance is given little attention. It seems that there is a viscous cycle of poor study skills and academic preparation that’s repeated in inner city communities throughout the country. A fundamental academic requirement must be established for athletes early in their K 12 experience. Colleges and school districts must make a greater commitment to these students. There must be a break in the pattern of the deepening despair that has become a viscous cycle for so many athletes who do not graduate. Too many families can point to athletes in their family who have never competed a high school diploma or college degree.

Dr. Stephen Jones is a nationally recognized author who has written the “Seven Secrets of How to Study and the “Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide.” You can contact him at 610-842-3843 and at or visit
Posted by Dr. Stephen Jones at 3:09 PM 0 comments
Labels: Athletes, coach, College, counselor, education, high school
Monday, September 22, 2008
Time to Manage Your Money
We are living in a time of financial crisis. Corporations are laying off thousands of employees. According to the United States Department of Labor and Statistics, the number of unemployed persons rose by 592,000 to 9.4 million in August 2008. While banks and insurance companies like AIG are on the verge of bankruptcy. It seemed that no one knew exactly what to do. So the government is bailing them out. There are too many people talking about the crisis and too few that offer solutions for the common person. Panicking will only add to the confusion that is pervasive in the country. The financial crisis should force each family to review all personal bills, financial investments and family insurance plans. It’s time to manage your money.

A smart financial plan begins with your own research and study of your financial circumstances. If you have not heard from your retirement company give them a call. You want to maximize the amount of information that you use to make good financial decisions. Don’t feel pressured to move money around or to take your money out of the bank and hide it. Remember your money is insured up to $100,000 for each bank where your money is deposited. It is still a good idea to have a conversation with the bank manager about your money. Get everything in writing so that you know what your bank will and will not do if it fails.

This is one time when procrastinating does not work in your favor. Everyday you could be losing money. It’s time to have a plan of action that you will follow. Your job may offer a financial planning workshop. Make time to attend a session. Prepare a few questions prior to the meeting. Ask if there is some type of financial planning website that you can review.

Most adults have never attended any type of money management class. They do what their parents did with their money. Their bills were continuously behind and the house was loaded up with the things that they wanted. When a person who freely spends marries a thrifty person their can be conflicts over money. This type of conflict can strain any relationship. In fact financial management issues are one of the primary reasons that married couples break up. Agreeing to manage your money with some flexibility must be a priority. Each single person and married couple should have a financial plan.

One of the effective things that you can do at this time is cut back on unnecessary expenses. Eliminating fast food from your diet may be one way to save money. If you decide to make this change you will improve your health and financial situation at the same time. If you go to Dunkin Donuts in the morning, McDonald’s during the afternoon and to a restaurant at night you can easily spend $50.00 a day and by doing this several times each week you will spend hundreds of dollars. Taking control of your budget means looking at every aspect of your life and considering the changes you must make.

Your goal should be to pay off bills and cut up all credit cards. Did you know that if you are late paying one bill your interest rate on other credit cards can go up? Paying your bills on time is an important habit. When possible pay a little more money on each bill. Get a copy of your credit report and eliminate any statements that are not true. Remember that banks and credit unions will look at your credit report score when you want to make a loan or ask for a line of credit. Manage your money by putting yourself in a position to pay off your financial obligations.

We each have a free will to choose how to manage our individual financial obligations. Learn to be content with what you have rather than letting your friend influence your buying decisions. Purchasing a $4,000 flat screen television may not be in your budget. Remember you can enjoy freedom when you manage your money and plan to live a stress free life. While the country is in this financial crisis you can still have peace by following your financial plan. Dr. Stephen Jones is author of the "Ultimate Scholarship Guide "available at