Living the American Dream is becoming something farther and farther out of reach for our society, and many don’t even realize it. The current teenage population is projected to be less successful than their parents are. Poverty circumstances that many citizens are born into are increasingly harder to overcome. How can young adults escape the poverty levels in order to become competitive in the professional world when the opportunities are slimmer than ever? American society is becoming harder for those to get ahead and live the American Dream; living above the status quo takes dedication, perseverance, and tenacity.
Poverty has many different meanings throughout the world, to some, poverty is a third-world country; however, in America poverty is generally categorized in two ways. Situational poverty is one way; this means that the person is considered to be in poverty because of certain circumstances that they may be undergoing. However, the second, and much more oppressive to our society as it seems, is generational poverty. “Seventy-one percent of the participants also reported that their personal worth was judged by the kind of work their parents did or did not do” (Beegle 13). A person is considered to be victim of generational poverty if they were born into it and also die in it. Generational poverty is a vicious cycle that plagues much of our world today, even those around us in American society.
The biggest enemy of poverty is lack of education not only for the victims of it, but also for those that have the ability to help. Many are born into an impoverished lifestyle with expectations to overcome it someday, yet still lack the skills needed to do so. Opportunities often require money and a great education to back it up. With colleges become harder to get into and more expensive to attend, each student much have an edge which sets them apart from the rest in some way. Yet, if a child wishes to get ahead in this growing professional world it is seemingly impossible for them to do so with parents who have decided that their social and economical status’ are sufficient.
Schools across the country are doing their best to prepare students for the “real world.” Graduation requirements are designed to ensure that all students have maintained a rounded education; however, none of these requirements include how to succeed in the real world. “Although some progress has been made in diminishing the educational barriers of race, gender, geography, and religion, poverty is the one barrier that has not been even partially overcome” (Beegle 12). Equality is a principle which our country was founded upon and our society has fought for throughout the years on issues such as: slavery, gay rights, etc. However, the issue of poverty often causes people to look the other way because it is not directly effecting how they live their lives. In turn, the economy suffers from lack of working citizens who are living off of government programs. This causes the...