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Choosing Our Future: A Story of Opportunity in America

Source: Educational Testing Service


Darren Green: Community Leader, Trenton, NJ

I think Jerrell's being a little nice with it. Success isn't luck, it's strategic. So is failure. Jerrell is a brilliant individual, but he's been shaped by a different environment. Same variables, but inside of his home structure there was a value for discipline, a value for respect, a value for life. And then there were expectations put in front of him, so he expected to excel, he expected to be better. Those allowed him to look for the Princeton program. People who come up in environments like this where there's really nothing, there's dilapidated housing, everything that you deal with from birth is substandard, if nobody exposes you to the things Jerrell's been exposed to, then your expectation is substandard. You don't see much, you don't experience much, and that becomes your reality. Where he chose life and opportunity and got into certain circles that allowed him to advance and explore and move on to Howard, other young men who probably are more gifted and talented than Jerrell and I put together-




-but simply did not have those same circles of influence, those mentors, those people who pushed you into an area or a direction where they made you be better by helping you find yourself to be your best, that's the difference.