JANUARY 26, 1938
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—It is curious how one's early loves remain the most alluring! As I recognized familiar faces at the National Youth Administration Meeting yesterday, I found myself wishing I were back in New York State all the time and really able to work on some of the problems in my own home. That being out of the question, I listened with the greatest of interest to the plans which were being formulated to help underpriviledged rural youth obtain better training along specific lines. This will make living at home pleasanter and getting a job much more possible than under present circumstances where a great many young people have no real skill to offer.
I still feel, of course, that rural youth, not only in the mountains and less populated areas, but right in New York State, needs guidance long before high school age is reached. The number of country boys who leave high school in the first year or two, is greater than the number of girls.
I think that the reason is that their work in schools holds little real interest for them. They have a little more confidence in their own ability and strength than have the girls, they fling themselves into the arena of life and land in the group of unskilled labor which usually offers them a dead-end job and causes them to be the first to be unemployed. Real guidance should prevent this by seeing that they get work in their schools which they can enjoy and for which they are fitted.
Six directors of farm schools in New York State were at the meeting to see Dr. Frank P. Graves, Dr. Lewis A. Wilson, other representatives of the Department of Education, Mr. Carl Hesley, who is the State Director for the National Youth Administration, and representatives of his department from all over the State.
I was enormously pleased at the cooperation which the schools and the Education Department were evidently trying to give and I hope something really constructive for the future will be done in New York State. It was nice to see my friend, Miss Flora Rose and Director Simons of Cornell at the meeting.
After the meeting I went over to call on Mrs. Lehman. It was very pleasant to find myself walking in the old Executive Mansion and being greeted with cordiality by Mrs. Lehman, Colonel and Mrs. Frederick Stuart Greene and all the household whom I remember so pleasantly. Mrs. Lehman has done over the dining room and made it so much lighter and more cheerful than it was when we were there. Though no one could think this old house beautiful, I think it has an atmosphere and a sense of comfort and stability which is very dignified and pleasing. As a citizen of New York State I felt proud of its atmosphere of hospitality and of its very charming hostess.
Back to New York and on my way to Lexington, Kentucky, with Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Junior.