A Welcome Note from Alliance Chair Alma J. Powell

Dear Impact Network members:

It is my pleasure to author the first Special Note of the revamped Impact Network Monthly eNewsletter. I cannot think of a group more important to America’s Promise Alliance than the mission itself, you, the young people. Famous American educator and Presidential Advisor Mary McLeod Bethune once said:  "We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”

Our goal with this newsletter is to help give you the opportunity to share your voices, ideas, and passion to help advance the work of America’s Promise Alliance and our Grad Nation campaign. Grad Nation is about inspiring all Americans to take action to end the dropout crisis. It’s about the simple but powerful understanding that each of us has a role to play in helping support our children and youth and how successful young people means successful communities. 

When experts, policymakers and community leaders have spoken about improving the well-being of our young people, they have failed to recognize the indispensable role to be played by the very people who are closest to the issue and who have the most vital stake: young people themselves.

For all that research can tell us, no data can tell us what you can. No one knows the challenges that young people face like you know them. No one is in better position to engage other young people. That is why we have worked to engage young people to an unprecedented degree as leaders in the Grad Nation campaign.

Through our Impact Network, young leaders like you are taking action with our Alliance partners, both locally and nationally.  You are supporting your peers, helping them overcome challenges and telling them why staying in school is not only important, but essential. You are helping them understand that the road from the classroom to a good career is all interconnected. There are no detours.

Without you, we cannot do this work. Without your voices, the stories cannot be told. And without your ideas, the solutions will never take hold.

Together, you and I are part of a movement. I believe that by coming together and engaging others to join us, by harnessing that powerful potential Mary Bethune spoke of, we can and we will see a day when America becomes a Grad Nation.

Thank you for all that you do.


Alma J. Powell
America's Promise Alliance Chair