Lance Scranton: 3 pieces of advice
May 16, 2017
I empathize with the feelings of those who are made to feel like they don't have access to the American Dream and the issues that prevent equality of opportunity in our great country. As an immigrant to the United States, I found out early that the American Dream centered around three important decisions that I preach to high school students every chance I get.
1) Stay in school! If you want to have access to the dream, you have to at least provide yourself with the tools to open the doors to opportunity. As my good friend writes in his book, "The Unstoppable You," the doors to opportunity are sometimes locked, and you need the keys. A diploma gets you some of the keys that will allow for a future of your choice. But if it's all about feelings, someone will tell you that those doors shouldn't be locked and that you deserve as much access to opportunity as anyone else.
2) Have children! But wait until you are in a healthy relationship and have employable skills, which means you're likely older than 19. The facts aren't in dispute on this issue: having children too young or out of wedlock hampers access to the opportunities.
3) Hold down a job! Seriously! If you find a job, work hard. You won't always have fun and it won't always be easy but holding down a job is one of the most important skills that you can master. Access to the American Dream is positively correlated to keeping a job and building wealth over time. A job also gives you access to other benefits such as health care, retirement, and other types of insurance.
As the Rolling Stones (they worked hard!!!) still sing today: "You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might find, you get what you need."
Lance Scranton teaches and is a coach at Moffat County High School.