Beating the Odds Roadtrip


Beating the Odds Roadtrip

We’re celebrating the stories of people who beat the odds and made it to college.

We’ve teamed up with the ACT Center for Equity in Learning to send three young people who are in college (or on their way!) on a road trip around the country to talk to folks who have overcome obstacles of all kinds to finish their education. As these three road‐trippers travel coast to coast, they’ll hear real stories and struggles, and get inspiration and lessons for the road ahead.


Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
Filter:
  • ALL
  • PICTURES
  • TWEETS
  • VIDEOS
  • INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

FUELED BY:

WITH ADVISORY SUPPORT FROM:

THE ROADTRIPPERS

  • ESTEPHANIE

  • JAMES

  • ESTHER

ESTEPHANIE

Age 20
From The Bronx, NY

Estephanie is focused on growing into who she wants to be, and when something blocks her way, she finds a new way up. Raised in the Bronx by her mother, who worked seven days a week, Estephanie has been acting and performing for as long as she can remember, but arts education at her school was nonexistent. She got the spark she needed in an after-school arts program for inner-city students. Going from a school where she’d been teased for trying and striving, she saw what a difference one opportunity could make. After finishing high school in Miami, she’s back in the Bronx, working full-time and commuting to college at Pace University, where she’s studying acting. Even through the stress of paying for school, the hard work is worth it if she can help other kids like her find that spark to become who they are, too.

Jenna

JAMES “IKIE”

Age 21
From Boone County, WV

There’s nothing that can keep me down, says Ikie. He knows that now, because in his teens, he faced his biggest turning point, and made it through. For his whole life, his parents struggled with drugs, but when he was 15, both of his parents were arrested, and the next year, his father died of an overdose. Surviving that time and getting to college has given him a different perspective on the programs and policies politicians talk about. That’s why he’s majoring in political science at Marshall University. Born and raised in the heart of coal country in West Virginia, Ikie wants to get into politics to help start conversations and do something about the problems he sees at home. On this trip, he’s looking for inspiration from others who have come from small towns and gone on to make big changes.

Gaby

ESTHER

Age 19
From Brookfield, WI

For Esther, theater was always a way to escape what was happening at home. And even when home changed, as she moved from an abusive household and bounced through the foster system, her love of acting persisted. At 13, when she and her brother were adopted into a big family, she gained 19 new brothers and sisters and a world of support. But every day is still a battle, even with her family by her side. The challenges she’s faced have made her stronger, and she’s determined not to let them limit her--or her opportunities. Theater, once an escape, is now her focus, along with elementary education. She’s planning on studying both next year at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point. That’s why she wants to see how others pursued many passions and reached their goals, so she can learn and grow from their stories.

Alain

HOME SWEET HOME

HOPPER the RV

QUICK STATS

DOB............................2004

# OF ROADTRIPS..............5

MILES.......................42,000

FUELED BY:

WITH ADVISORY SUPPORT FROM:

map

STOPS & INTERVIEWS

STOPS
INTERVIEWS
Long Island, NY
7/17/2017

Elaine Del Valle

Actress & Producer, Del Valle Productions

New York, NY
7/18/2017

Jim St. Germain

Founder, Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT)

Ajla Grozdanic

Goodwill Ambassador Manager, United Nations Development Programme

Geoffrey Canada

Educator, activist, and author

Baltimore, MD
7/24/2017

Linda Singh

Adjutant General, Maryland Military Department

Melisa Hypolite

College Access Program Specialist, CollegeBound Foundation

Washington, D.C.
7/26/2017

Travis Robinson

Head of Global Talent Diversity & Americas Campus Recruiting, Spotify

Atlanta, GA
7/28/2017

Ashley Rhodes-Courter

Author & Child-Welfare Advocate

Mary Ann Peters

CEO, The Carter Center

Houston, TX
8/2/2017

Tristan Love

Assistant Principal, Houston Independent School District

Los Angeles, CA
8/8/2017

Alex Nogales

President & CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition

Long Beach, CA
8/8/2017

Robert Garcia

Mayor, City of Long Beach

STOPS & INTERVIEWS

Long Island, NY
7/17/2017

Elaine Del Valle

Actress & Producer, Del Valle Productions


New York, NY
7/18/2017

Jim St. Germain

Founder, Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT)

Ajla Grozdanic

Goodwill Ambassador Manager, United Nations Development Programme

Geoffrey Canada

Educator, activist, and author


Baltimore, MD
7/24/2017

Linda Singh

Adjutant General, Maryland Military Department

Melisa Hypolite

College Access Program Specialist, CollegeBound Foundation


Washington, D.C.
7/26/2017

Travis Robinson

Head of Global Talent Diversity & Americas Campus Recruiting, Spotify


Atlanta, GA
7/28/2017

Ashley Rhodes-Courter

Author & Child-Welfare Advocate

Mary Ann Peters

CEO, The Carter Center


Houston, TX
8/2/2017

Tristan Love

Assistant Principal, Houston Independent School District


Los Angeles, CA
8/8/2017

Alex Nogales

President & CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition


Long Beach, CA
8/8/2017

Robert Garcia

Mayor, City of Long Beach

FUELED BY:

WITH ADVISORY SUPPORT FROM:

exit
exit

SUGGEST A LEADER INTERVIEW

Name someone you look up to
whose brain you’d like us to pick

*Required Field
Submit
exit

SUGGEST A PIT STOP

We’d love to learn about...

*Required Field
Submit
exit

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUBMISSION

Keep following the road trip here and you
might just see us chatting up your idol.

If we take you up on your suggestion,
we’ll give you a shout-out here