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

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
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Don Yu

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.
Jonathan Zaff Executive Director
Executive Director  Center for Promise
Faulty reasoning is often used as the rationale for suspending students. Here are some common arguments:
Casey Trupin

Casey Trupin

Program Officer with Raikes Foundation
It may be your daughter’s best friend. It may be the captain of the football team. It may be the new student who just transferred in. It may be the one who has lived in your neighborhood for as long as you can remember. What we know is that the vast majority of public schools serve at least one student experiencing homelessness. In fact, the average public school has 14 students facing this crisis.

Gabrielle Mathis

Communications Associate, America's Promise Alliance
When I tell people I’m graduating in May, the first question they ask is “What do you want to do?” or “What’s next?”   I don’t know the answer, and I’ve come to terms that it’s OK not to know. For the second time in 22 years, I get to decide what to do with my life. It’s not something I should be afraid of or nervous about. I should be excited because I know I can get through it because I’ve done it before.
President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
President & CEO America's Promise Alliance
Every day, my colleagues and I share and read studies, news reports and op-eds written by experts in the field, and I love reading them. And yet, I often find myself learning the most from pieces written by young people themselves—the real experts not just on education, but on all the issues that concern them and have an impact on their lives.
LaShawn Massenberg

LaShawn Massenberg

Student Choice Award Winner Project Soapbox and Mikva Challenge DC
“What set you from?” “What hood you wit?” “What you doing around here?”