Arne's Open Road
Find Mentors (1:32)
Unique Upbringing (2:04)
What's Your Genius (0:42)
Why Not Us
Public Television: Why Not Us
US Secretary of Education
US Dept of Education
advice, after-school-programs, being an example, can't give up, challenges, college, helping others, homesick, impact, kids, leader, making an impact, mentors, opportunity, passion, potential, public school system, struggle, support system, tutoring
- Grew up in Chicago attending his mother's inner-city tutoring program.
- Saw how kids who had challenges at home could succeed if they had people who supported them.
- After spending a year shadowing his mother at work, he knew that teaching was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
- Went to Harvard; struggled his first year with grades and homesickness, thought about leaving.
- After college, he ran an after-school mentoring program, started a new charter school, then served as CEO of Chicago Public Schools.
- Says he never aspired to be the Secretary of Education-in fact, he didn't even know the job existed; wanted to have an impact and connect kids' potential to opportunity.
- Still has to pinch himself every day because he can't believe where his path has led, or the opportunity he's been given to make a difference.
- Says find the people who will support you in your journey; he's had the same mentor for 40 years.
- Says being a teacher requires "a little toughness and a lot of heart," but it's the most meaningful job in the world.