This past week I joined members of our partner organization, The Young Invincibles, in planning an event called “Jobs for #YoungAmerica Day on the Hill.” Youth across America came together in an effort to ask their members of Congress to support job creation for our generation. It was surprising to see how many young Americans, just like me, have been affected by this recession and have the same urgency to find a job.
Two young individuals, Levi Thompson, and Braden Dauer, spoke alongside Senator Cardin (D-MD), and Senator Wyden (D-OR) at a press conference, to share their pursuit and struggles of finding the American Dream. It was astonishing to hear Levi speak of the nearly 30% unemployment rate in his neighborhood in the district and Braden’s struggle to find work two years out of college. Maybe hearing stories like these will help Congress realize that this economy is affecting real people; people who wish to see a glimpse of their future.
While I am still hopeful of my job prospects and the American Dream, I sit here wondering what it is like for everyone else out there. While 69% of young Americans ages 18 to 34 may still believe in the American Dream, what about the people who couldn’t afford to go to their college of choice or college at all? What about the people on the streets that don’t have a home and certainly don’t have a job to pay for food? What about those taking care of a family and struggling to make ends meet? What about them?
Fortunately, I have my family to rely on in many ways, as many other students have relied on their parents through graduate school and so forth. But not everyone is as lucky to have such a support system. While there has been the creation of over 1.07 million new jobs this year, a report says it will take 12 years for everyone to be employed. While I have a support system now, I can’t wait 12 more years. And those struggling on the streets or without an education, taking care of a family certainly cannot wait even until tomorrow. To some this is pure survival and we simply cannot wait any longer.