Colleges Are No Match for American Poverty
Marcella Bombardieri, The Atlantic
Russell Lowery-Hart spent a Texas winter weekend sleeping outside. By day, the 48-year-old applied for fast-food jobs and searched for soup kitchens. But Lowery-Hart is, in fact, president of Amarillo College. And he was on the streets to find a better way to lead a school where poverty intrudes into the classroom every day.
The community college already is working hard to accommodate low-income students. Among its resources: an emergency aid fund for making grants within hours and without red tape, an Advocacy and Resource Center that connects students to every possible community or government program, and a food pantry. Last fall, the school debuted a low-cost day-care center that keeps its doors open 14 hours a day to serve student parents with jobs in the early morning or evening.