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Factors which Helped Whitiker Escape Poverty and Move up Middle-Class

“Angela Whitiker’s climb” is a June 12, 2005 publication in The New York Times and has been authored by Isabel Wilkerson. The article describes the life of a woman who rose from a class of poverty to a middle class with a great expectation of a smooth life in the middle class only to find out that hers was never a true middle-class life.
There are three significant factors which helped Whitiker to escape poverty and move up middle-class status. Her strong will-power which was cultured by the brutal experiences of poverty from her tender age made her pursue middle-class status. The author of the article also describes that Whitiker was living in a poor neighborhood full of crime and all forms of evil (p. 205). When she met a man (the father of Jonathan) who was able to pay her rent, she saw it as a good opportunity to join Kennedy-King Community College for a pre-nursing program, which she later discontinued (p. 206). The author describes that Whitiker’s stay for 9 months at Robert Taylor where there was much crime, poverty and insecurity made her “a new woman” who knew that “she had to get back into nursing school if she was ever going to get anywhere” (p. 209).
Whitiker’s climb to middle class would never have been realized if she never met her current husband Vincent Allen. Not only did Allen bring order in the family by taking the role of a father but he also motivated her not to give up with the dream of becoming a nurse. With Allen handling most financial responsibilities at home as well as schooling aid, Whitiker was able to go back to nursing college where she pursued her dream of joining middle class with passion and seriousness (p. 211, p. 213).
The possession of a nursing degree was also a major factor that led Angela into the middle-class status. The author says that Whitiker knew that passing her nursing degree meant that her life would be transformed henceforth. Failing meant that she would remain in poverty. Her joy of passing the exam was even felt by the neighbors as she celebrated the big welcome to middle-class (p. 214).
Impact of social class on Angela’s children
Whitiker lived in both poor and middle-class statuses and these two classes impacted heavily on her children. For instance, the crime-ridden live of poverty and drugs made Nicholas and Willie end up in crime and dropped school. By Whitiker moving into middle-class, she was empowered financially to give her children good education. Whitiker’s middle-class made her feel compelled to discourage her children from joining the army and instead encouraged them to find a career. Christopher was a great beneficially of the middle class as he never experienced the life of crime and poverty and he was even able to attend good schools and get closer attention (p. 218). The nursing job however was too demanding and time consuming that she had little time with her children.
“A Profile of Low-Income Working Immigrant Families”
The article “A profile of low-income working immigrant families” is a 2005 publication by The Urban Institute Series B, number B-67 and has been authored by Randy Capps, Michael Fix, Everett Henderson and Jane Reardon-Anderson. The article focuses on the experiences and needs of low-income immigrant families.
            Capps et al. (p. 1) state that since the 1990s, immigrant workers have increased with 14% of the labor force in 2001 being made of immigrants. Moreover, a significant percent (20%) of the immigrant workers are low-wage workers thus immigrant families face difficulties in paying their bills. In terms of poverty levels among working immigrant families, immigrant families are twice (42% versus 21%) likely to be low-income families compared to their native counterparts and they are almost twice poor (12% versus 5%) compared to native families (Capps, p. 2).
Despite the growth of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) over the last few years, only a few number of low-income immigrant families are aware of EITC compared to native families. Where low-income families benefit from EITC, the benefit is reduced by the heavy expenses incurred to pay tax preparers. The low EICT benefit in low-income families is also attributable to ineligibility due to being undocumented immigrants as well as low awareness levels. Most low-income immigrant families do not benefit from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and food stamps which eventually impacts on the child care access from the federal as well as state subsidies. This is more likely in states where child care subsidies are for families that are eligible for TANF.
Housing assistance among low-income immigrant families is also very low compared to native families since some immigrants are undocumented thus as well as being barred by law. Health insurance coverage for parents is low due to ineligibility of parents to Medicaid and other programs especially for illegal immigrants and legal immigrants with less than five years of stay in the U.S (Capps et al., p. 4). Employer-provided insurance bars many children from coverage making coverage of children under SCHIP program wanting. Capps et al. (p. 5) indicate that center-based child care in low-income immigrant families is low due to cost, lack of access and other barriers such as language and culture.
“Consequences of Hunger and Homelessness on Children’s Development”
The article “New study reports strong links between food insecurity and negative developmental consequences for young school-age children is available in the FRAC website. The article discusses the consequences of hunger and homelessness during early developmental years on children’s growth and development.
Food insecurity poses a great threat to the development of social and behavioral skills of young children more so those in the early elementary school years. Food insecurity is a health risk to girls since it results to weight and BMI gain. Boys on the other hand suffer reduced social skills as a result of food insecurity (FRAC, para 3). Persistent food insecurity leads to poor reading skills in girls. Girls also experience minimal social skills if food insecurity is experienced at a tender age. It is speculated that food insecurity at an early age leads to poor and insufficient diet leading to poor development. In addition, food insecurity during early childhood impacts on academic (math and reading) and social skills of children later in life.

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