Kevin Jennings knows a thing or two about the American Dream. He came from a trailer park in Lewisville, N.C., where he was raised by a single mother who had a sixth-grade education, TIME reports. Jennings went on to become the newly appointed CEO of Be the Change, a nonprofit organization that creates national issue-based campaigns. He also previously served as a deputy secretary in the Department of Education under President Barack Obama, founded a national organization that seeks to end homosexual discrimination and holds a trio of degrees from Harvard, Columbia and New York University. Suffice to say, Jennings’ mother, now deceased, would be proud. But stories like Jennings’ are becoming harder to come by. “We’re in a critical moment in history where we could see this being the first generation where our kids do less well than we did,” he says. Which is why Jennings’ organization and some 200 others banded to host Opportunity Nation on Nov. 3 and 4 at Columbia University in New York City…

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