FUTURE FORUM

On May 6th, 2016, the Brooklyn Education Innovation Network (BE.IN) and Medgar Evers College were honored to welcome the Future Form, in partnership with congressmen Hakeem Jeffries and Eric Swalwell. Congressman Jeffries who represents the Eighth Congressional District of New York and Congressman Swalwell who represents the fifteenth district of California seem to symbolically represent that from coast to coast, regardless of backdrop, millennials seem to face the same challenges.  

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The Future Forum is driving attention to the issues of importance to millennials on the floor of the House of Representatives and at events around the country. It is not enough to talk about millennials; Members of Congress must listen to and engage millennials to solve important challenges.   Before conversation even got underway, students were asked to text in things that are important to them. Quickly, the word cloud showcased on the smart screen behind the congressmen began to fill up with blurbs, ranging from “Job Sustainability” to “Salary” to “Debt Forgiveness”.   Students shared their own struggles with student loans, pointing out that acquiring such excessive student loan debt while acquiring their bachelor’s degree has either halted them or made them hesitant to purse their master’s degree, start their own business or even finish college at all. Congressman Swalwell explained the concept of “getting lapped”, which means developing ones’ own student loan debt before their parents have even finished paying off their own.   Much of the conversation focused around how many more people could live up to their full potential if they weren’t weighed down by the burden of student loans.   Congressman Jeffries has co-sponsored the Student Loan Fairness Act, which provides forgiveness to borrowers who have made 120 monthly payments in the last ten years, while Congressman Swalwell, in collaboration with the Future Forum is now working on a legislative package, which will address various issues presented by the millennials in the audience of these forums.