I just got home from the Inaugural America's Promise Night " an event centered around the belief that every child should have the opportunity and support to pursue his or American dream. The event was a celebration of leaders who are living and supporting the promise of giving every child a chance and an opportunity and it showcased the broad private and public support of this great cause. While it is easy to get excited about the glamour and drama of an event, what really struck me was how simple and pure the mission is. America's Promise is focused on 5 promises that we as member of America's Promise and ultimately citizens should make. Every young person should be able to say, I have . . .

1.       Caring Adults

2.       Safe Places

3.       A Healthy Start

4.       Effective Education

5.       Opportunities to Serve

This mission is simple and expansive. It demonstrates that solving the dropout crisis or getting more students to graduate is not the role of one organization or one type of job. It is about people coming together. People who are part of corporations, private schools, public institutions, agencies and the like.  Promise of America Awards were given to 3 very-talented and very diverse groups " Wes Moore, Veteran and Founder of BridgeEDU, Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of A&T and Beatrice and Anthony Welters. What they all share in common is that there is no one path to greatness. All of the recipients of these awards took their own paths but what they all share is a willingness to give and a support for those in need. We implore corporations to be good corporate citizens because corporations are made up of individuals who should be given a chance. At Penn Foster we believe that education can be a path to that chance and that next chapter and we are committed to extended access to a high school diploma because we believe that will help our youth and our adults succeed.

America's Promise chose a red wagon as a symbol for their organization because it is a simple object that can be interpreted in many ways. For children who use their imagination the wagon can be a space ship, a carriage, a submarine or a horse and buggy among other things. But while it symbolizes invention and imagination it is also grounded with a handle that others can grab onto when help is needed. We all need to look for the handle that we as individuals and organizations can latch onto to help our youth succeed.

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