Twenty years ago, I was lucky enough to be part of the team that organized the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future and gave life to America’s Promise Alliance . I remember thinking how improbable it all was – Presidents Bush, Clinton, Carter, and Ford and First Lady Nancy Reagan coming together in Philadelphia to refresh and deepen the nation’s commitment to young people . I remember entertainers and governors, corporate and community leaders . Most of all, I remember the feeling of energy focused on creating more opportunity for young people and the sense of shared commitment and responsibility .
For the past five years, it’s been my job and honor to lead America’s Promise as we continue to focus the nation’s attention on the challenges young people face and on the Five Promises all young people need to thrive – caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education, and opportunities to serve .
Over the years, we’ve worked with hundreds of communities and Alliance partners to come together for young people . We’ve led successful campaigns like GradNation, and built a powerful partnership of organizations and community leaders . Our Center for Promise has produced research that helps us better understand the lives of young people who are struggling .
We’ve seen and experienced progress, but the challenges for young people are deep and persistent . And deep and persistent challenges require smart and even more persistent responses .
Our Work distills our collective learnings and points the way to accelerate progress for the nation’s children and youth . We intend Our Work as an invitation to spur us – all of us – to take on those deep and persistent challenges and work more collaboratively, effectively, and quickly to create the conditions for success for the young people of America .
Standing in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, General Powell issued a call to action 20 years ago that still rings in my head: “We have no choice . We cannot leave these children behind if we are going to meet the dreams of our founders .” That call remains our north star as we once again commit to young people and our collective future .
I hope you find Our Work valuable and look forward to working with you toward the day we make the promise of America real for every child .
John Gomperts, CEO and President
America’s Promise Alliance