Over and over again, Germantown is blessed with the world’s next best resource.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, a peace-loving and egalitarian tribe, the Piscataway, made the Northern banks of the Potomac River their home.
In the 18th century, British land grant recipients began innovating new ways of stewarding the land’s resources and maximizing crop output.
In the 1830s, German immigrants set up shop and supplied farmers and millers alike with all manner of trade and commerce.
In 1873, the railroad came through, opening wide new business opportunities by significantly shortening the transit time between manufacturer and consumer.
In the 1950s and 60s, scientists from all over the world came to this area to study everything from nuclear energy to communications satellites, laying the way for studies in other technologies to follow.
The 80s and 90s blessed us with the crème of the crop from India, China, Korea, Cameroon, Togo, and Ghana, bringing their expertise and zeal for opportunity.
Lastly, between 2000 and 2017, Montgomery County’s Latino population increased by 90%, about one third of which are 19 years old and younger; they make up 32% of the student body of MCPS. Moreover, and lesser understood, is that they are not primarily South American but Central American, having come to the United States to escape civil wars and human rights abuses.
What do they bring? Grit, determination, and energy. What do they represent? An enormous labor pool. Right in time for the growing labor shortages.
In each case, these resources had enormous potential to bless the land. But likewise, in each case, Germantown had to adapt and reconfigure to best steward this new resource.
We are behind in this endeavor. The rapid growth in the county’s Latino youth population continues to outpace the infrastructure available to serve them. According to a joint study done by the University of Maryland School of Health and the Gaithersburg-based Identity, Latino youth in Montgomery County are “starting school unprepared for kindergarten, reading below grade level throughout elementary school, experiencing the school system’s highest dropout rate, struggling to earn a post-secondary credential, and experiencing high rates of adversity and psychological distress.” (See article here)
Aren’t these just symptomatic of all youth in this area as they cope with the side effects of the COVID pandemic? One would think so. However, this study came out in 2018, well before the pandemic! You can imagine how much further this demographic has plunged in education and job preparedness since then.
Latino youth represent this area’s best resource and most promising gift in the coming years. But we cannot waste a minute in harnessing its potential.
Get the full scope this Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Founder of Identity, Mr. Diego Uriburu, will lay out the full picture and how we can respond.
Meeting ID: 845 4484 9209