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Bishop Edgar Vann promotes betterment through education

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Bishop Edgar L. Vann Bishop Edgar L. Vann

By Bishop Edgar L. Vann, Second Ebenezer Church

While illiteracy and poor academic performance are not direct causes of criminal behavior, young people with insufficient education and/or poor literacy skills are disproportionately found within the criminal justice system.

Detroit continues to lead the country in its rate of violent crime. Simultaneously, we have a 50% illiteracy rate and a staggering high school drop-out rate that stems somewhere between 20% and 50%.

We already know that the majority of our prisoners did not complete high school and had truancy listed as their first offense.

We know that if we put as much effort and money into truancy prevention and education as we do building prisons, we would reverse the trend of mass incarceration.

If I am passionate about anything, it is helping our young people lead productive, fulfilling lives and helping our families break the cycle of dysfunction, poverty and despair.

We know that typically, the more education you have, the more earning potential and the more opportunities you have in life.

My goal in organizing our 16th Annual College Weekend - is to encourage parents and students to start the process early of preparing for College Exams, researching and applying for Financial Aid, opening a bank account to save for college and finding the college or university that is right for you. We also have a special workshop for parents because going to college is a family affair.

We know that for too many, college is becoming unobtainable. The costs have skyrocketed and too many young people graduate with a mountain of debt.

That is why we have called it "one stop shopping for college," because not only do we have 50 colleges and universities on hand including community colleges, state universities and historically black colleges, we also have experts who can help families navigate the web of financial aid and finance. We have experts who can help our young people prepare for the ACT and SAT exams. We will talk about the value of college, we know that there is financial value to having a college degree, but there are also other benefits including:

· Longer life span

· Greater economic stability and security

· Greater job satisfaction

· Less dependency on government assistance

· Greater participation in leisure and cultural activities

· Greater community service and leadership

· More self-confidence

· Much less likely to end up in the criminal justice system

Obtaining a college education is not a guarantee, but it certainly improves your odds in life.

Our College Weekend is also fun and entertaining. We open Friday Night with a "Divine Nine Greek Step Show," then launch the fair on Saturday, February 2 from 10am - 2pm throughout the entire church. And Saturday Night we close College Weekend with the Best in College Choirs from all over Michigan.

For more information, please visit www.secondebenezer.org, or call (313) 867-4700

Second Ebenezer Church
14601 Dequindre Road
Detroit, MI 48212

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