Opinion

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

President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
President & CEO America's Promise Alliance
In 2015, the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise selected 12 organizations as inaugural grant recipients of the Youth Opportunity Fund.
Rachael Tutwiler Fortune
Director of Alliance Engagement
A few weeks ago, 175 young people in grades 5 through 12 attended Youth Day at the Capitol in St. Paul, asking well-researched questions and offering clear opinions on the availability of before- and after-school programs for students from low-income families, voter turnout, access to quality data, and high school graduation requirements.
Kent Pekel, Search Institute

Kent Pekel

President & CEO Search Institute
A decade ago, the National Research Council released a report that showed that between 40 and 60 percent of U.S. high school students are disengaged from learning and don’t put much effort into school. Since that time, other studies have found that student motivation is a problem at all levels of the educational system, and that students’ desire to learn decreases steadily from the start of elementary school until they graduate from high school or dropout
Tray McGhaney and Mentor
Student Participant Urban Alliance
I first joined Urban Alliance, a program that places high school students with paid internships, my junior year in high school. For the first few weeks, before we actually started our internships, we had pre-work—workshops that consisted of different topics such as professionalism, how to dress, and manage your money.
Jonathan Zaff Executive Director
Executive Director  Center for Promise
Here’s what we know: Nearly 500,000 young people leave high school without graduating each year because they face too many barriers with too few supports and too little flexibility. Here’s what we wanted to find out: Can blended learning – which combines online learning, supervised learning at a brick-and-mortar location, and at least some student control over time, place, pace and educational path – make it easier for students who have left school to re-engage and get their diplomas?
President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
President & CEO America's Promise Alliance
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.
Eboni-Rose Thompson

Eboni-Rose Thompson

Manager Alliance Engagement
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Alliance Engagement Team at America’s Promise decided to celebrate prominent women in history who embody each of these promises. While there are many more who could have made the list, here are five women we think of when we think of the Five Promises.
Naya Moss

Naya Moss

I still remember the first time I built a computer. My uncle, a system administrator at a hospital, noticed how much I loved watching him use his computer. At eight years old, he helped me build my own. “This field needs more women,” he said, promising to do all he could to help me succeed.
Davis Kirby

Davis Kirby

Expanded learning opportunities can be priceless. They were for me. Whether it’s an afterschool program or a summer program, these programs help children excel academically, stay away from trouble, and get exposed to valuable enrichment opportunities they might otherwise miss.
President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
President & CEO America's Promise Alliance
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.
Daria Hall

Daria Hall

Senior Director Media Relations & External Affairs
Did you know that youth played an instrumental role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s? Youth remain a necessary voice for social change!