Unlike the typical student, however, our childhood years were spent dealing with economic struggles, feelings of not belonging, teenage pregnancy, and run-ins with the police. My four siblings and I had to overcome these hardships to graduate. For each of us, our high school graduation day was a moment of triumph for our family, because the odds were against us from the very beginning.
As a natural optimist, I like to think that we're making headway on the poverty issue, but that does not mean we can pat ourselves on the back and unfurl the banner proclaiming "mission accomplished." In fact, I would argue that any progress thus far represents the proverbial low-hanging fruit and that further advances will require even deeper commitment and more creative thinking.