American Next Centerpiece
As part of the American Next project, a look at the concerns of young Missourians in Mexico and their perspective on the election, the next generation and America's future.
As a resettled refugee, Ahmed Abdalla’s American Dream already came true: He’s here. Seven years later, he is still learning what that means.
For all their hard work and planning, Sean and Darline Mabins don't see their good fortune solely as the result of their efforts. They also know that it's a blessing from God.
Ezana Gebru, 25, has idled in college for seven years and remains a semester away from finishing his degrees. His parents are Ethiopian immigrants, who, through dogged determination, narrowly escaped poverty and persecution to chase the American Dream. Now Ezana is trying to find his footing in his parents' world as well as his own.
Four friends try to make it through school with passing grades, search for decent jobs and hope for better lives than what they've seen in their hometowns. They are sweet and sassy, funny and frustrating, maddening and, at times, tragic.
Most of the young people I talked to in reporting for the American Next project said they believed in the American Dream theoretically but didn’t think they could live it themselves.
Madeline Cummings is 19 and a freshman at Truman State University studying health science pre-med. On sunny days, she can be found walking barefoot on a slackline that's set up between two trees on the Truman campus. But that's for now.