...We live in a time when so many Americans are hurting, when competition for jobs and economic security is increasing, and when the pressure simply to survive is growing. There's a tangible sense of fear and anxiety among—not just the poor—but among working Americans and the middle class. People are asking whether the American dream is still within reach. I believe that it is—but we are going to have to work a lot harder to achieve it—and that work begins in the home and the classroom and it continues every day in our communities. And that's why service is so important. Because society—whether it is government or business or the family—cannot meet every need today.
Despite the myriad of challenges we face, I am also deeply optimistic. In the past two years, I've travelled throughout the country and been inspired by what I've seen. I've been to more than 40 states—four this week alone—and I've seen first-hand that America is dedicated to service. From the Peace Corps to Americorps to countless wonderful student-led projects here at the Phillips Brooks House Association and hundreds of other campus-based service organizations across America, literally millions of young men and women are working in communities—giving their time, energy, expertise and love—to help others.
Read "Call to Service", a Lecture by Secretary of Education at Harvard University.
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