Opinion

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

Erin White

Erin White

Senior Director America's Promise Alliance
While it is tempting to describe a young person’s path to adulthood as a single, linear road, the reality is that all young people do not reach milestones at the same time or in the same way.
Monika Kincheloe

Monika Kincheloe

Senior Director, GradNation Campaign
How can we help young people dealing with violence and trauma at home succeed in the classroom? As we enter the final stretch of the GradNation campaign, where should we focus most of our energy? The answers can be found in the new GradNation Action Platform, a set of six action areas for states and communities to raise graduation rates and support student success.
Julie Pham Headshot

Julie Pham

America’s Promise Youth Memeber
Now that I’m halfway through my college experience, I’ve learned a lot about what would have helped me feel less alone as a first-generation college student, and it goes beyond one diversity program. Specifically, here are four ways that college staff and administrators could help all first generation students feel more supported and be more likely to succeed.
Alma Powell

Alma Powell

Chair America's Promise Alliance
This time of year, 12 years ago, Hurricanes Rita and Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast. Houston became the refuge of choice for 60,000 people, over half of whom were school-aged youth. The city opened its arms, homes, schools, and churches, while more kept coming and many never left. Three hundred thousand people eventually chose to call this hospitable city their home. These same souls are now going through it all again.
President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
President & CEO America's Promise Alliance
The removal of DACA announced on Tuesday threatens the futures of nearly 800,000 undocumented children and youth living in the United States.
Malcolm Mitchell
Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots
“Earlier this year, I was very fortunate to be a part of the Super Bowl winning team. It is such an unbelievable honor to be a member of the New England Patriots…[But] If football is all I am remembered for in life, I will have failed my mission: to help other people experience the power and magic of reading.”
Kiara Gilbert

Kiara Gilbert

America’s Promise Youth Trustee
Before coming to Princeton University as a first-generation, low-income student, I had built my entire résumé around my personal expertise in dealing with race. I had organized protests and given speeches to hundreds on the importance of abandoning a color- and culture-blind educational system. I even received an acknowledgement from Princeton for these efforts.
JD Hoye

JD Hoye

President NAF
What does it take to guarantee that the next generation of future leaders are prepared, inspired, and primed for success? While there is no particular pathway to success, the key is to begin building the talent pipeline early—when students are still in high school.
President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
President & CEO America's Promise Alliance
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.
Skylar Whitman

Skylar Whitman

Communications Intern, America's Promise Alliance
Adults aren’t the only ones struggling with mental illnesses, and as the research below shows, young people may even have more to lose. But allowing students to use “sick days” (or excused absences) for their mental health could go a long way in creating a culture of health in the classroom that can help them stay on track to graduating.
Carla Miranda

Carla Miranda

I am afraid I am not ready for college. I just graduated high school, and a statistic I recently found worries me: 70 percent of Americans will study at a four-year college this year, but less than two-thirds will graduate.
Erin White

Erin White

Senior Director America's Promise Alliance
Kids of all ages need adults in their lives who care about them. It’s a fundamental, common-sense sort of truth. And yet, the importance of these relationships is often overlooked and misunderstood.