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    American Dream at Risk? When the American Dream Turns Into American Need


    My mother holding me at six months old, right before our house was finished in 1994.
    We lost the house in 2001. My parents remain unable to find affordable and stable
    housing to this day.

    By Stephanie Watkins-Cruz

    Is the American Dream at risk? To mark the 20th anniversary of America’s Promise Alliance – and to support our campaign to encourage people, organizations, and communities to #Recommit2Kids – we asked our youth leaders to reflect on this question. This perspective is the second in a special series on the topic.

    If you work hard and remain focused, you can prosper. That was the dream with which I was raised, the American Dream. And in many ways, this dream mirrored my reality. When I was growing up, my family and I lived in your typical single family home with a two car garage, backyard, dining room, kitchen, living room, and what now feels like an unnecessarily large foyer.

    I wanted to someday have a bigger kitchen, a cool living room, and maybe some more furniture to fill up the dining room. I wanted four rooms instead of three, one for my parents when they would come live with me, and the remaining for my family. I had this dream until I was 10.

    Read the complete article at the


    Stephanie Watkins-Cruz is a Charlotte, North Carolina native and a youth board member at America’s Promise Alliance. She is currently pursuing a dual-degree student pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration and City and Regional Planning with a focus on affordable housing, and community economic development at UNC Chapel Hill.

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