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

Melinda Hudson

Melinda Hudson

Sr. Advisor to Chair and CEO, America's Promise Alliance
At a recent Capitol Hill briefing releasing new research from Service Year Alliance, there was one stat that made me put down my box lunch and really listen: National service operates in 1 in 4 of our lowest performing schools. This is amazing—but sobering. One in four is simply not enough
Alejandro Gac-Artigas
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Springboard Collaborative
My dad is a playwright. In the 70s in his native Chile, he was jailed as a political prisoner. His crime? He directed a play in protest of Pinochet’s dictatorship. After years of torture, he made it out alive. He was luckier than many. Even luckier, he met my mother while living in exile in Paris.
Jessica Mendoza, Minnesota Alliance with Youth

Jessica Mendoza

Minnesota Alliance with Youth
Schools are failing students by being too quick to execute a punishment, which has lasting, negative impacts. To combat racial disparities in school and society, schools need a new approach to school discipline that is grounded in student perspectives and alternatives that work.
Jacob Schimetz

Jacob Schimetz

Minnesota Youth Council
Many young people today are aware of the tools that amplify our voice—social media being the most prominent—but most of us don’t see the point in using them. After all, who cares what young people think? It’s not enough to empower youth by giving them the tools, adults must also embolden young people by giving them the confidence and courage to use them.
Fish Stark

Fish Stark

Peace First Fellow-in-Residence
In all the outpouring of news and commentary that’s followed the violence in Charlottesville, there’s one story that’s been excluded: the flood of young people who are actively pushing back against in
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Eva Harder & Shannon M. Varga, Ph.D

Writer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
ESL. Non-native English speaker. Limited English proficient.   These may be some of the terms that come to mind when you’re trying to describe students whose first language isn’t English.
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.”