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Chancellor Emphasizes Education during BOPIC Parent’s Night

7/16/2014 —

Chancellor Francis Achampong commended BOPIC, Inc. for its good work of almost 25 years of programming, developing mentors and leaders of young people, and for providing nutritious food that models healthy living during Parent’s Night on July 16 at the Chambersburg Area Middle School in Chambersburg.

BOPIC, which stands for “Building Our Pride in Chambersburg,” provides supplemental academic, nutritional and life-skill services to a growing population of economically disadvantaged, multi-cultural families and children who reside within the Borough of Chambersburg and Franklin County.

During his speech, Achampong stressed the importance of receiving an education and paused regularly for BOPIC program director Isabel Stennett to translate his words into Spanish for the crowd of students and families, board members, and volunteers, who gathered in the middle school’s cafeteria.  During the evening, they also received an overview of BOPIC’s 2014 program from Executive Director Jack V. Jones, met BOPIC volunteers, and ate a healthy meal.

Achampong pointed out that because the American and world economy are becoming more complex a solid education is necessary to thrive. 

“A high school diploma is just the minimum,” he said. “You need more education if you want to live a financially secure life.”

He compared the total lifetime income of individuals working between the ages of 25 and 64 with various academic degrees. “Someone with a high school diploma will earn $1.2 million,” said Achampong.  “Those with a bachelor’s degree will make $2.1 million…a two-year degree, about $1.7 million…a master’s degree… $3.5 million, and if they have a doctorate, $4.4 million,” he said.

Higher levels of education also have a lower unemployment rate during an economic recession and fewer prolonged effects, according to Achampong.  In addition, he said evidence shows that people who have an education are healthier and are more engaged in their government.

Achampong shared his personal story of contracting polio as a child and credited his parents for his success in life because they provided him opportunities for a good education.  “So, the lesson I want you to learn is that an education is extremely important,” he said.

He also noted some recent initiatives at Penn State Mont Alto, including partnering with area superintendents to better prepare high school students for college, working with CareerLink to help adults with some college credits return to school and complete their degrees, and coordinating with BOPIC to find ways to help Hispanic and African American students take advantage of an education.

“Thank you for inviting me here to speak and letting me share my story and talk to you about education and what we are doing in this community to make a difference,” said Achampong.

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