Opinion

Insights from thought leaders working to improve the lives of America’s Youth

Angela Cammack

Angela Cammack

Sr. Policy Advisor, College Promise Campaign
Within the next four years, more than 60% of jobs will require some post-secondary education. The problem: We’re not ready. Only 40% of U.S. adults have a post-secondary degree, and for many Americans, especially students from low-income households, college is increasingly unaffordable.
Kate Sandel Senior Policy Analyst,Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Kate Sandel

Sr. Policy Analyst, MA Dept of Elem and Secondary Ed
While the dropout rate in Massachusetts has declined in recent years, reaching 1.9 percent in 2015, huge gaps remain. Last year, students whose first language is not English (FLNE) made up 18 percent of students enrolled in grades 9-12 but over 30 percent of the students who didn’t graduate on time. We have our work cut out for us.
Beth McCullough

Beth McCullough

Homeless Education Liaison Adrian Public Schools
“Are you excited about starting school?  It is your senior year, after all,” I said in my best “Rah, Rah, let’s go team!” voice.  She shrugged, “Not really. I don’t like being the new girl. Kids don’t talk to you—but they talk about you.” She went to many schools before entering our doors.
Caitlin Cheney

Caitlin Cheney

2012 Scholar, NAEHCY
As a homeless student, icebreakers were always tough for me. If my classmates asked about my family or tried to organize sleepovers, I couldn’t tell them that me and my younger sister didn’t have a place to live. I was afraid that if they knew, they would take her away from me.
President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
President & CEO America's Promise Alliance
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. 

Lisa Gonzales

Dropout Prevention Specialist, Tucson High Magnet School
This article is part of the “What’s Working” series, which highlights promising practices for helping to close the graduation gap in communities and states across the country.  My job title can be a
Text College

Don Yu

Writer
In 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama approached then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan with the goal of inspiring more young people to attend college.
Rachael Tutwiler Fortune
Director of Alliance Engagement
On a hot summer afternoon in Tucson, Arizona, I decided to take a walk, visiting young people I care a lot about but don’t know. I didn’t walk alone, instead joining a group of remarkable community leaders. The heat didn’t bother us, nor did it stop us. We were walking with a purpose.
Tanya Tucker, Vice President of Alliance Engagement
Vice President of Alliance Engagement
I thought if I let a little time pass the sadness, fear, anger and frustration that has surrounded me since learning of the events in Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas would dissipate a bit. I just needed a little break in the clouds so my emotions wouldn’t be so raw and my thoughts could become clearer. That didn’t happen. I’m as raw as when I first heard the news and perhaps even more angry and frustrated.
Erica Turner

Erica Turner

Former Intern, America's Promise Alliance
As students across the country have graduated from high school, we know that the transition into the “real world” can be a challenge.  Here are 10 tips that will help make the transition a little easier.
Catalina Tang

Catalina Tang

I was sixteen years old when I came to Boston from Colombia to reunite with my family after spending over 20 years apart from each other. I was a recent immigrant youth struggling with speaking English, navigating the education system, and finding a sense of belonging to my new community. It felt like starting all over again.
Stephanie Watkins-Cruz
Youth Board Member America’s Promise Alliance
The first person I told about my family’s eviction in 2010 was my junior prom date, Kevin. As supportive and wonderful as my teachers and counselors were in high school, I was scared that the moment would define me and that telling them would cause something bad to happen—what exactly, I’m not sure—but I was scared. I was embarrassed. And so I held it in.