We all know Mike Rowe. He’s the guy who does the Ford commercials and was the host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.” He recently stepped into the national education debate after starting a scholarship program based on the premise of hard work. It is called Work Ethics Scholarships and is the first of its kind in the nation.
Mike Rowe has a four-year degree himself but looked around at today’s university structure and found that there was a motivational absence to hark workers. “There are scholarships for athletes, academics, music and art. I want to reward those kids who are willing to work hard,” Rowe said. In the interview with talk radio’s Glenn Beck, Rowe went on to explain how his experience on the hit TV show “Dirty Jobs” revealed to him the incredible work ethic that many Americans have. This inspired Rowe to establish the Work Ethics Scholarships and gave him hope that there is another generation willing to do the tough jobs.
Teaming up with trade schools, Rowe has raised millions of dollars to pay for students to learn a skill that can give them a great career without attending a traditional four-year college. In order to even apply for a Work Ethics Scholarship, each applicant must sign the “S.W.E.A.T. Pledge” (Skills and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo). There are 12 statements on this pledge, and a few of them are worth noting.
“I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.”
“I believe that I am a product of my choices — not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.” And my favorite: “I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.”
I applaud the effort of Mike Rowe and am inspired by his straightforward way of motivating our generation. You may ask, “Why are you writing about this at the very institution Rowe is trying to persuade people against going to?” Rowe is not against four-year colleges, but he is for promoting hard work and a responsibility in a generation that could sure use some. I did not write this to convince you to go to a trade school. I wrote this to challenge each and every one of us into looking in the mirror and asking, “What is my work ethic?”
James is a sophomore majoring in political science. He enjoys bike rides and Florida sunsets.