All my life, there was never a question about whether or not I would receive an education. It was an expectation that I would finish high school and then proceed on with higher education at a university. It was always a certainty, a certainty that I often took for granted. I complain about having to write a paper or attend a 90-minute class while people all over the world would give up most of what they have to be given a fraction of the opportunity just handed to me.

It was a slap in the face to learn that in some places in Sudan, a young woman is more likely to die during child birth than finish the 8th grade, or that roughly 40 percent of the world’s primary school-aged children still cannot read. It helped to wake me up from my blatant ignorance of the dire education deficit in the world.

It is easy to turn a blind eye and question how horrible things can happen in distant countries, or ask yourself why each country’s people are not stepping up to end these atrocities. A glaring factor is lack of education. Education hones our ability to think clearly and accurately. It allows us to make decisions and to think critically about information that is given to us. It opens up our eyes and provides us with freedom. Education is a solution that must be employed.

The U.S. must do its part to help bring education to those who desperately need it. The opportunity handed to me at birth must be extended to all those who want it. The U.S. should commit to invest $250 million over the next two years to the Global Partnership for Education in order to help make this a reality.

Tyson Sperry

Salt Lake City