A Catalyst for the American Dream
The coronavirus pandemic is one of systemic societal deterioration, not only from a business point of view, but also for students that struggle with the already impeding effects of economic disparities. So how can one seem to conceptualize a method to limit the effects of the seemingly tolling educational defect of coping with learning in a society exacerbated by a virus? The blanketed effect of the virus in local Houston areas has seen a shut down of many schools over the past six months.
Although we have seen a decrease in the cases subsequent to a rise in testing, we have seen a deterioration of the overall education of those affected by this virus. The lack of face-to-face teaching has already seen a toll on students, but what about those who are applying to college; those who have to make the big leap from secondary education to professional.
Non-profit organizations like Momentum Education aim to aid students in this process from high school to undergraduate years and beyond. I got a chance to speak to the Executive Director of Momentum Education, Raj Salhotra, and he gave me some insight on the inner workings of a non-profit. But first let us get some information on who exactly Raj Salhotra is. Mr. Salhotra has taught at YES Prep school providing the school with their first AP Statistics class, worked with Rice University interning under the Obama administration, and while at Harvard Law School, researched housing and public policy, and worked on economic development policy with Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Mr. Salhotra has devoted his life’s work to establishing educational powerhouses for low income and first generation students in the Houston area. The focus of Raj’s non-profit is “providing mentorship and help with application essays, resumés, scholarships, and internships.” Now, to the point of Momentum Education. Momentum Education, guides students through their early academic years, further to undergraduate, and ultimately to the workforce. Momentum Education has over 400 students spanning from YES Prep, Houston ISD, and Aldine ISD and the non-profit oversees the “overall potential” of these students. As Raj states, “Every student has unique aspirations and barriers. It is our civic duty to relieve those barriers so that every student is able to access equal opportunities.”
At Carnegie Vanguard High School, various others have followed in Raj’s footsteps of starting up a non-profit and are rigorously working on making their organizations work. In addition, Carnegie Vanguard has first-generation students that have to work to contribute to the family’s income. Now more than ever, accessible resources are needed and non-profits like Momentum Education provide these services to alleviate the educational gap within the Houston area. See more about Momentum Education here.
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