Monday, March 28, 2016

From The White House December 14th, 2015.

The White House
December 14th, 2015

Mr.. Tracy Gibson
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thank you for writing. I have heard from many Americans who are concerned about our Nation's young people, and I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

As a young man, I made some bad choices and did not always take school as seriously as I should have. I didn't have a dad in the house, and I was angry about it -- even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time. I made excuses, and I sold myself short.

Luckily, I grew up in a forgiving environment. I had people who encouraged me and
pushed me to work and study hard, to make the most of myself. They allowed me second and third chances and never gave up on me -- so I didn't give up on myself. Every child deserves those same chances.

For decades, however, opportunity has lagged behind for boys and young men of color. Regardless of where they come from, they are disproportionately at risk from their youngest years. We need to change this -- for their sake, and for the sake of America's future.

This is why I launched the My Brother's Keeper initiative: a collaborative, cross-cutting effort to help ensure these boys and young men have every opportunity to reach their full potential. It is an effort based on using proven tools to help more of our young people stay on track. But the Federal Government cannot play the primary role here. It will require all of us joining together to expand the horizons for our young men and empower them with the tools they need to succeed. From there, it's up to each of them to seize the opportunity and make the most of it.

Again, I appreciate your letter, and voices like yours will remain on my mind as I continue working to give all our children the chance to achieve their dreams -- no matter what they look like or where they live. To learn more about My Brother's Keeper, including how to get involved and share your story with others, please visit


Barack Obama

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