Opinion

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

Robert Alvarado

Robert Alvarado

AmeriCorps member
“What is an irrational fear you have?” This was a question I asked Manuel,* a tenth-grade student I mentored during my year of service as a City Year Los Angeles AmeriCorps member. It was part of a game I introduced to get him engaged in our time together.
Sanah Jivani

Sanah Jivani

Sophomore University of Texas at San Antonio
Is the American Dream at risk? To mark the 20th anniversary of America’s Promise Alliance – and to support our campaign to encourage people, organizations, and communities to #Recommit2Kids – we asked our youth leaders to reflect on this question. This perspective is the third in a special series on the topic. For more perspectives, read Here is Where Hope Lies and When the American Dream Turns Into American Need.
Erin White

Erin White

Senior Director America's Promise Alliance
Whether it's a parent, mentor, guidance counselor, coach, or neighbor, a caring adult can serve as the primary line of defense against adversity in the lives of young people.
Lisa Early

Lisa Early

Director, Families Parks & Recreation Department
When you grow up in a neighborhood as poverty-stricken as mine, all your life you hear about people who make it ‘out’—and the much bigger number who end up back in the neighborhood unsuccessful and committing crimes. My biggest fear is failure. I have witnessed it so many times walking to high school, bums laying on park benches running up to kids of all ages asking for money, teenagers, pants sagging to the floor, jaws full of paraphernalia, trying to make a quick buck. I don’t have to be a product of my environment.
Posha Sheffield

Posha Sheffield

The first time I stepped foot on campus, I didn’t imagine my time there would be short-lived. Over the excited whispers of freshmen during orientation, I heard the dean say, “Look to your left.
America's Promise Alliance

America's Promise Alliance

Get the run down on why youth leaders should apply for youth leadership opportunities at America's Promise.
Erin White

Erin White

Senior Director America's Promise Alliance
How do we accelerate progress for more young people in America? This is the question I have spent the last year helping America’s Promise Alliance answer.
Ola Ojewumi

Ola Ojewumi

Founder of Project ASCEND
“When did you fall in love with hip hop?” I first heard this question in the seventh grade, when I was watching the film “Brown Sugar.” A few months ago, this question came back to me when I attended a gala hosted by America’s Promise in honor of its 20th anniversary. Among many other influential leaders, the rapper Common was honored for his Common Ground Foundation. While his foundation is no doubt having an impact on the lives of youth, I’ll never forget the impact his music has had on my life.
Stephanie Watkins-Cruz
Youth Board Member America’s Promise Alliance
On April 18, America’s Promise Alliance celebrated its 20th anniversary by convening the Recommit to Kids Summit. Youth Board Member Stephanie Watkins-Cruz shares her experience at the event and on the board in this moving letter to the adults who attended—and the adults who show up for young people every day.
Andrea Kane

Andrea Kane

VP, Policy & Strategic Partnerships The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
In the recently released Our Work: A Framework for Accelerating Progress for Children and Youth in America, two statistics are cited side by side: “High school graduation is at an all-time high, and t
Tricia Raikes
Co-Founder of the Raikes Foundation
I recently joined former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas at the America’s Promise Alliance Summit for America’s Future for a discussion about the importance of young people feeling a sense of belonging.
Nevasha Noble

Nevasha Noble

Associate, Alliance Engagement America's Promise Alliance
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.