Mission: To examine the experiences, systems, and institutions that help — or hinder — Americans' realization of the American dream and jump-start honest discussions about the role of inequality and opportunity in American society.
Background: Created by Bob McKinnon, founder of GALEWiLL, an organization that designs social change programs, and the Moving Up initiative, which examines the factors that contribute to mobility in America, the Your American Dream Score project aims to engage people in thinking about issues such as poverty, inequality, and opportunity and offers strategies and resources that can help people move up in life. The project is grounded in the belief that if each of us reflects on our station in life, we will develop a better understanding of the factors that affect social and economic mobility. Research suggests that this kind of personal framing and reflection can lead to increased awareness of social and economic problems and get us thinking about potential solutions. Through the platform, users are invited to learn more about their personal success and the factors behind that success and engage in conversations — online, in the classroom, and in their communities — about what it takes to get ahead in America.
Outstanding Web Features: The focal point of the project is a thirteen-question survey, with each question representing a factor or demographic fact that correlates to one's social mobility and/or happiness in life. The survey opens with basic demographic questions (age, race, gender) and then moves on to a series of questions designed to elicit information about one's psychological makeup, family situation growing up, schooling, health, employment situation, and friendships, with the choices offered under each question informed by research related to mobility or positive life outcomes. Users who complete the survey are provided with a score ranging from 45 (indicating you've pretty much had every possible advantage in life) to 100 (you've had to overcome adversity at every step of the way) as well as a list of the factors that have worked in your favor and against you. Having completed the quiz, users are given prompts to thank the people who have helped them along the way and have the option to explore additional resources as well as volunteer opportunities.