One of my cousins and her fiance are visiting and decided to stay the night. Aimee and I took this opportunity to give them both the "Wise Older Cousin" talk in hopes that we could prompt them to dream about their future rather than settling for the present. Other than one cousin who has recently started dental training of some sort, all my cousins face similar careers as their parents. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a career path when it comes to working in the woods, mills, pumping gas, bagging groceries or driving truck.
I noticed this issue when I moved to So Cal as well, especially in the Hispanic community. It was almost normal to see young girls having babies and living with her parents until her own children were old enough to date. Young men usually looked for manual labor or entry level jobs without the dream of moving up. This was hard for me to understand since it seemed like there was a vocational school on every corner and college's in every community with inexpensive Cali tuition. I soon realized this was because the younger generations didn't have anyone to encourage them and tell them it's possible to better yourself if you have want it bad enough. (Or was it because it's just easier and safer to just accept what you know?)
I tried to explain to my cousin and her fiance that they should at least make a goal of having a better life than their parents. If they could just aim at improving their lives at least one notch up from the lives their parents live and encourage their children to do the same, we would all be so better off. I don't know if they believe in themselves though. I really worry about our youth.