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Stewart: Opportunity Center in Sterling is vital for struggling families

I’m writing as a concerned citizen of Loudoun County in regards to an article published on Nov. 16, 2015, titled, “A safe place to go: Opportunity Center opens in Sterling.”

These learning centers are so vital to our community because of what they provide. They give low- income and struggling families in our county an option to help their students excel in school and we need it now more than ever.

Everyone views Loudoun as a privileged place, which it is, but with that people often look past the people struggling here, thinking that just because they live in the wealthiest county, they aren’t actually poor. This center not only provides these kids with an after school facility to help them thrive, but it also allows parents to work longer hours to earn more wages.

Instead of having to cut their day short and pick their children up from school and watch them, they can stay at work and earn that extra pay. In addition to that, our economy is growing like crazy, so it is necessary that kids are getting the education to strive in this day in age.

Our knowledge-based economy is constantly in need of educated students and this new learning center does a great job of giving these students an opportunity to be successful.

I also think it is a great idea that they are using this center not only as a space to do homework and get tutoring, but they are also using it as a place to offer cooking classes as well as job-skills training and computer classes.

This is great because, in addition to the tutoring and academic help, they are offering practical, real-life skills that make the students a more well-rounded citizen. I hope we see more learning centers like this in the future.

Jake Stewart


Fonseca: Sterling Opportunity Center inspires a community

I am writing in response to “A safe place to go: Opportunity Center opens in Sterling.”

When I tell someone I live in Loudoun County, they often assume that I am rich since it is the richest county in the nation. What they do not know is poverty is prevalent in my backyard.

People do forget that poverty is everywhere, even if the outside picture is a rich painting. What this organization is aiming to do is really fix a problem and try to prevent students from falling behind intellectually as well as emotionally.

I believe that this program needs to be advertised to get a bus or monetary donation as well as volunteers. I know that our community truly cares for the well-being of kids and if we can get this out to the public,

I am sure many high school students would be willing to devote their time to help these kids. I know that it is hard for people to put themselves in the shoes of others to know how hard someone’s life truly is, but hearing about the goals of this program is a step in the right direction.

This is an issue that needs our attention so we can prevent children from growing up into high school students that do not attend college or turn to drugs when school and life become too much. I also believe every area should have a program like this because some families and kids need the extra help.

Thank you for publishing this article. I am going to try to spread awareness of this issue and possible solution and I am definitely looking into volunteering my time to the children of the future.

Chelsea Fonseca

James Madison University

Evans: Providing an opportunity for greatness

Regarding the article on the documentary following the educating of India’s girls.

Typically we have the attitude that if we work hard enough good things will happen, but for many working hard is not the determining factor of a good future. In reality, it is the availability of opportunity that allows us to achieve what we envision for our futures. For some, the opportunity for greatness is not as available.

Sarva Rajendra is taking great strides in providing more opportunities to girls who are orphans or come from single-parent homes. Raising awareness and joining the force to solve the 62 million girls that are illiterate worldwide is only step one.

Programs similar to Sarva’s must follow, and must be plentiful. We live in a society that highly values education, yet still many go without it. In order to combat a lack of opportunity and education, there needs to be multiple institutions that allow those who have been constrained by their environment the opportunity to succeed.

As the video stated without this program, girls like Suma would have faded into the background, but with it, she was given the opportunity to change her future and now wants to help change the future of others.

Putting a spin on what Craig Rice stated, if you’re not given the opportunity to succeed, you cannot change your world, let alone the world itself.

Valerie Evans

Loudoun County

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