I’m one of the lucky ones. I grew up in an upper-middle-class town on Long Island, attended a highly ranked public school, and will soon graduate from a selective, private, liberal arts college. With a good GPA and solid contacts, I have plenty of options.

I believe that everyone must give back to his or her country. I choose to give back by teaching for two years in the New Orleans public school system. I believe one of the key issues of our time is public education and it is up to us to do something about it. I understand that I alone will not change the country. I will not change my school district. I might not even substantially change my classroom. Genuine change will come with the collective push from all Americans to sacrifice time and energy for the greater good of this nation.

The growing apathy between Americans and their diverse struggles sickens me. I believe that in order to truly turn the tide in this country, people must give back. They say the greatest generations of Americans were the ones where most men and women contributed to the war efforts. They understood the meaning of sacrifice and pride. I trust we can bring that attitude back.

As an economics major, I understand the value of open trade, free markets, and financial regulation. My brother has battled cancer for 14 years, so I am invested in the movement towards easy access to high quality and affordable healthcare. These aren’t hard concepts to rally behind. Everyone should believe that a successful modern country requires high quality education, a progressive economy, and affordable healthcare. Yet the left and the right seem so set on disagreeing, that the middle of the road majority is pushed aside.

In SAM, I see a platform that balances the political spectrum. I see the opportunity for massive growth in America’s global rankings in education, healthcare, and service. In SAM, I see progress for America.