So we invite you to be a part of the conversation. Please share a story of how you or someone you know has made a difference in their community or our country.
Tell us where you see the values of opportunity, equality, and fair play at work in your life.
Explain how you or your organization have been involved in grassroots political organizing or activism that has been effective. What was the issue and what was the outcome?
And if you have ideas or suggestions for better ways to drive an agenda about promoting the American Dream, what are they?
These stories and ideas will be the foundation of a book I am writing about the power of ordinary Americans to shape this country’s future and protect the American Dream. We would love to include yours.
My parents had worked hard to seize opportunities in their lives, saving enough money to provide me with extracurricular opportunities and eventually hire me a tutor. This tutor, a college student from Ghana and the first of many mentors who would enter my life, inspired and worked with me to raise my grades, set goals, and pursue higher education. Over the course of the following two years, mentors and friends (or ‘friendtors’ as we like to call each other) helped me transform my life from a mediocre and aimless teenage existence into an overnight success story: I graduated in the top 5% of my class (after thinking I’d never get an ‘A’), launched climate change advocacy groups at 30+ high schools in California (after never starting an organization before in my life), and was admitted to the University of Chicago on a full-tuition merit scholarship (after thinking I’d never go to college).
In college, I was lucky to meet a group of amazing peers who thought we could mobilize campus resources to provide mentorship to local at-risk youth in a way that could also equip them to overcome financial difficulty. A 2009 study showed that the average net worth of white people in the US is 20 times that of black people and 18 times that of Hispanic people; our university campus community was a microcosmic reflection of this wealth gap, and we wanted to do something about it. We thought: why not take kids from the college investment club and Economics department and place them in local schools to serve as peer mentors teaching basic financial concepts?