Thursday, March 30, 2023

MY TURN: Our future

| March 4, 2023 1:00 AM

This article is to everyone in our community.

My name is Marcus Davis and I'm a student, entrepreneur and a young engineer with NASA. I also go to Lake City High School.

I'm here to defend our town's education and its future with purpose.

First, I must start with a reminder. This is not about a political side all around doing wrong, or picking colors. It is simply a defense for education. I've seen both red and blue political sides agree that this needs to stop, as education is a right for all. Recently, our town's educational institute, North Idaho College, is under siege by adversaries that are individually pressing down negatively on our town's ability to grow, threatened with the loss of accreditation. No accreditation means a lot of things. It means that high schoolers like me won't be able to take dual enrollment, which in turn means no higher education options that we desperately need for high schoolers.

It also means that thousands of young adults in our community won't be able to proceed with their degrees in our town. An education that would otherwise be extremely affordable and beneficial is now wasted and no longer credible if this situation continues like it is.

Furthermore, this accreditation loss would undo the progress of the last 100 years, the progress of building higher education in a small town. The progress of building an expensive school on the most beautiful piece of property in the state with some of the towns' most powerful tools and minds. The progress of our town would soon stop. This college brings in young people and keeps them in our town to work jobs. Those jobs stimulate our economy, keeping small businesses and their front doors open. Not only would this be bad if these people left, it could get exponentially worse for a lot of people who rely on these people.

On that topic, some of these bright-minded hard workers are working in our town's most important job fields at the hospital. Nursing shortages are no joke, especially when it means life or death for those who can't get medical care and help (hopefully they can get help). Nursing jobs can be fulfilled by NIC, if it stays accredited.

This affects me in extremely negative ways as well. For me, this means that I can't get a head start on my career. Those computer science courses that I wanted to continue to pursue now don't make logical sense if I can't use them to get a degree or add to my credits. The opportunity to be smarter in a technical field I want to pursue is ripped out from under my feet just before I could even get my educational career up and running. I have to take my capabilities elsewhere, away from home, in order to move forward. This is the dilemma I'm faced with in our town. This is the dilemma thousands of others are faced with.

Please help, this is our future.

To summarize my message: The end of accreditation would be to stop growth in the medical field, to stop growth in the entrepreneurial field, to stop growth in the computer science field, to stop growth in the cybersecurity field, to stop the growth in sciences and to stop the growth in education.

Many of us rely on this to move forward. This is our home, this is my home, and I'm here to protect and conserve its education.

You want to kill a town? Kill its ability to create a future.

Marcus Davis, of Coeur d'Alene, attends Lake City High School and is a dual credit student at North Idaho College.

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