You can lift yourself out of poverty

I find it truly amazing that Augusta "struggles to fit poverty into plans for development" ("The right mix," July 6).

There always are those who fall into poverty through no fault of their own, and there are those who are ill or invalid and can't work. This letter isn't about them. It is about the female heads of households listed in the story's statistics box showing the poverty levels in Augusta.

One of the pictures accompanying the story highlights the problem as well. A woman has three daughters, but there is no mention of the father. Where is the father? Why aren't the courts holding the fathers accountable for child support? Why aren't the mothers working and there is no mention of families? All too often, you hear about the grandmother or aunt taking care of a child, but no mention of the parents or what the parents are doing to work their way out of poverty.

To me, the report reflects a total lack of pride or personal responsibility. There is more enough information, classes and free support to prevent unwanted births. How do you get out of your dilemma? First, schooling is free to all. Use it. Stay in school and get a good education. No one needs to do the studying but the people who want to succeed. It isn't easy, but it can be done if you want to succeed. Higher education also is available through grants, loans and scholarships.

Those in the "poverty" group have got to ask themselves, "When am I going to stop expecting the government -- whether local, state or national -- to bail me out of my own self-made problem and situation?" When are you going to get tired of the government taking care of you? It takes dedication and work to get ahead -- but then, there is the problem.

Richard A. Wilson, Aiken, S.C.

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