In response to the passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush, John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance released the following statement:
“Yesterday, America lost a true champion for young people. Barbara Bush has been a fierce advocate for children and youth for many years. She stood together with us at the launch of America’s Promise 21 years ago and was an ally and inspiration ever since.
“Driven by her passion for reading, she dedicated her life’s work to empowering families through literacy. As First Lady, she launched the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, one of our national partners, with the goal of providing access to educational opportunities for young children and their parents. Mrs. Bush called the cause, ‘the most important issue we have.’ We know that her work will live on through the foundation and her countless influences over the years.
“As we honor her legacy, we will continue to pursue equal opportunity for more young people so they can reach their full potential. We know the American dream is still within reach for young people, but not without the commitment from caring adults like Barbara Bush. Let’s remember, celebrate, and learn from her many contributions.
“Our sincere condolences to President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, and the entire Bush family.”
The American Dream is about equal opportunity for everyone who works hard. If we don't give everyone the ability to simply read and write, then we aren't giving everyone an equal chance to succeed. -Barbara Bush (1925 – 2018)
The 5 Promises
The 5 Promises represent conditions children need to achieve adult success. The collective work of the Alliance involves keeping these promises to America’s youth. This article relates to the promises highlighted below:
John Gomperts has been president and CEO at America’s Promise Alliance since 2012. Prior to joining America’s Promise, he served as the Director of AmeriCorps. Over the course of his career, Gomperts has served in leadership roles in the U.S. Senate, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Encore.org, and the Public Education Network, among others. Gomperts graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and earned his J.D. from Georgetown University.
Adults often complain that kids today don't respect their elders. But what happens when it's the other way around? What if young people are the ones who are not getting the respect and dignity they need to be successful in school and life?
America’s Promise and Milton Hershey School call on schools and other organizations to better collaborate by establishing partnerships that share knowledge, teach essential workplace skills, and create lifelong role models for the young people who make up our next workforce. We all have an obligation to prepare young adults for the competitive global job market they will enter post-graduation.
For those of us who have worked on the GradNation campaign, the Ballou coverage has challenged us to reflect and question our own role in this story. What are the unintended consequences of setting an ambitious goal? How can we do better? What does this story, and the story of other schools now being investigated, mean for the broader story of our national progress?
The tragic events that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend remind us of the need to stay focused on creating a better, safer world for all young people, and strengthen our resolve to work together toward that goal.
While the recent campaign and election moved fear to the forefront in a great many households, the uncomfortable truth is that for far too many young people in America fear for personal safety is an everyday occurrence.
I don’t have teenage kids any more, but I do have a special interest in the nearly 4 million kids who are just starting high school right now. Back in 2010, the GradNation campaign set a goal of 90 percent high school graduation by 2020, and we’ve made great progress since then, reaching an all-time high graduation rate of 82.3 percent.
Every day, my colleagues and I share and read studies, news reports and op-eds written by experts in the field, and I love reading them. And yet, I often find myself learning the most from pieces written by young people themselves—the real experts not just on education, but on all the issues that concern them and have an impact on their lives.
Adults are used to being experts. Too often, they’re certain they know what young people need. Though often well-meaning, these adults don’t stop to ask young people if a new building or block scheduling or new technology or exit exams will help motivate them to achieve.
I was a bit startled when I read Bill Gates’s post on LinkedIn early this morning. I know that he has long been deeply concerned about access to and success in college, and I admire his thinking and work in this area. But he and his foundation have often tended toward technological solutions.
High school graduation rates have been the source of a lot of news coverage – and conflicting emotions – in the past few weeks.
President Obama and more than a dozen governors hailed increasing graduation rates in their annual addresses. At the same time, leading journalists and policy wonks have raised questions about those very gains and about the value of a high school diploma.