Cincinnati is the second poorest city in Ohio, only behind Cleveland. Approximately 1 in 3 Cincinnatians lives below the federal poverty line. To understand what that means, it is helpful to know where the local poverty line is drawn. For example, the poverty line for a family of four is $25,100 per year, which seems impossibly low to cover housing, food, utilities, and other costs of living. In 2018, there were approximately 250,000 people in Cincinnati living in poverty, including over 28,000 children, which is nearly half of the children living within the city limits of Cincinnati.
Poverty is a complicated problem caused by many factors, and there is no simple solution. Non-profit organizations like City Gospel Mission put an emphasis on education as a tool to help offer some solutions to at-risk children. As one of the longest running non-profits in Cincinnati, City Gospel Mission has impacted thousands of Cincinnati youth through its tutoring and mentoring programs, summer camps, and college scholarships.
Students at SUA are in a position to be part of the solution to decreasing poverty. Programs such as Bulldog Buddies provide tutors and volunteers to local elementary schools, and SOS sends volunteers to over ten different non-profit organizations, such as Academy of World Languages and Roll Hill Community Center. However, there is more that can be done in order to further SUA’s impact on poverty in Cincinnati. Following the example set by City Gospel Mission and other local non-profits like Crayons to Computers and YMCA, SUA can continue to support educational programs that give young students a path to college, higher-paying jobs, and a better chance to break the cycle of poverty.
Mentoring and serving as an inspiration or example to young students is one possibility. Creating a partnership-in-education between SUA and local elementary schools could provide a wider platform for SUA students to teach their young counterparts about the importance of working hard, having goals, and being committed to reaching those goals.