Zeenat Rahman knows the "demographic youth bulge is an opportunity not a burden." She promotes positive youth engagement and meaningful interactions through story-telling, policy initiatives and private sector partnerships focusing on mentorship and entrepreneurship.
Here in Omaha, we've partnered with two other local foundations, the university and city government to support a summer employment program for youth ages 15-18 with no prior work experience who live in the most impoverished neighborhoods.
Employers aren't stupid (except the ones that crow "We only hire Ivy Leaguers!"). They know that kids who know who they are, what they want, and how to deal with life on the ground make the best new hires.
Studying still matters. Hard work still matters. Passion still matters. But unless we help our young people develop the world-class skills required by our global economy, there's a good chance it won't work out. And that's a tragedy for everyone involved.
This summer, teenagers are going to be looking for work, but about one in five won't find a job. The teen unemployment rate -- currently at 23.7 percent nationally -- is the highest for any group in the U.S.
My parents were first-generation Latino immigrants. I had six siblings. My family didn't have a lot of money. So to get ahead, we had to work twice as hard. And to find a summer job, we sometimes had to look twice as hard.
What America needs is someone who will challenge the entrenched interests and big money that now so distorts our politics. Gingrich offers a man who profits from those interests, while preying on, not praying for, the weak.
Being a teenager today is confusing. On one hand, we know that it is developmentally appropriate and healthy for teens to seek new challenges. On the other, we don't offer them enough opportunities to be relevant in their communities.