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.
As a constant evolving society, there are many differences in our lives that can drive us to believe we cannot relate to our peers. Between our hectic lives and mysterious histories, we tend to find ways to divide ourselves from each other. However, we work hard and build legacies in hopes of providing a better world for the generations after us; specifically, our children. Although there are many biological definitions that can keep us separated, there is one description that keeps us connected: humanity. If we want to see a better world and a better future, we must all have equal access to the resources our country provides. In order to have equal access, we have to acknowledge and change the idea that we are not all treated the same. The issues that need to be changed must be illuminated before they can be eliminated.
Far, far too often we tend to deflect the issues we consider irresolvable.
From experience, I know this to be a dangerous defense mechanism. How do I know this? When I was 17 years old, I became a mother. As an honor roll student, dance team captain, class representative, advocate for our youth, and a volunteer for my city, the dreams I had of achieving success and improving our society did not cease when I gave birth. Everything I once imagined in my future still remained in my line of sight and for the next six years, my life was dedicated to my child’s future. Can we not all relate to this story in some way? All of our parents dedicated their lives to our futures.
Because my journey as a parent started at a young age, I learned a lot about the dynamics of relationships. The adults in my community, who were once my avid supporters, decided to use our differences to divide me from them. Yet, this did not change my hope in society. When teachers, counselors, and the school staff told me I wouldn’t graduate or go to college, I decided to use all negativity as fuel for positive change. This did not change my hope in society. When those who did not know me, decided to regurgitate their morals on me, I used their beliefs as a reminder of the glorious place we live in. Again, this did not change my hope in society.
I took it upon myself to use this experience as an opportunity to shed light on a common issue: the lack of support for our youth. We, who are devoted to our children, forget that we are all children of others. In 2011, I spoke at the Massachusetts State House on Teen Parent Lobby Day in hopes of convincing legislature that teen parents can be successful if they have the support they need. In the same year, I wrote over 30 blogs for ThePushback.org in hopes of undoing the stigma of teen parenting, hosted numerous workshops, appeared on a local show, promoted teen parenting support, and helped found the first summit for teen parents in Boston: STEPPS.
Through my experience as a young parent, a college student, a healthcare worker, an advocate, and a voice for many, I know that my focus is to be proactive, not reactive. I have faith in the dream and I have faith in people. It takes a genuine moment of humanity to realize that we are all brothers and sisters of humanity with similar missions: to promote equity, improve our communities, and to provide our children with a better world.
In order to do this, we must know that we live for each other.