When Christina Hendricks became a teenager in the early 1990s, she had no idea how to live the American Dream.
Hendrick was born to a single mother, had two siblings and lived in a single-parent home.
She remembers growing up feeling alone and insecure.
“I think it was something I learned early on that I’m not the best person to lead a family,” he said.
But as Christina grew older, she realized that the American dream wasn’t just about going to college and finding a job; it was about finding your own voice and being who you are.
That’s what made Christina an exceptional, self-motivated teenager who overcame obstacles in her life to reach her dream of becoming a writer.
Christina was able to rise through the ranks of a highly competitive school in Texas, but she still struggled to maintain her self-esteem.
“Growing up, there was no sense of accomplishment,” she said.
“It was just, ‘What do I want to be?’
I remember I wanted to be a writer, and I didn’t really know what that was.
And that’s when I really started to figure it out.”
Christina’s story of overcoming adversity is one that is repeated across the country today, as African American youth continue to struggle to be seen as successful.
It is one of many examples of the struggles faced by young people in the United States today.
The problem is not unique to black and brown youth, according to a new report by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago.
The report, “Black Youth Project: Challenges and Opportunities for Black Women in the Media and the Law,” outlines the challenges faced by black women in the media and the law, particularly in the wake of the recent election.
While many young women have taken on leadership roles in their communities, many still face the same obstacles.
“Black women still have a lot of work to do to be heard and be respected and be taken seriously in society,” said Tamika Coontz, one of the report’s authors.
The Black Youth Program at the U of C conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 high school seniors, young adults and young adults with disabilities, including young adults of color, who were enrolled in public, charter, and parochial schools in the U.S. and abroad.
It found that while most young women want to participate in school and social activities, they often struggle to feel supported and respected in those spaces.
The survey found that women who identify as black, Asian or Pacific Islander are less likely to feel valued as members of their own community.
This is especially true in urban schools, where teachers are often absent from the classrooms, and many students of color are excluded from school and experience high dropout rates.
“We see a lot more racial disparities in how we are treated in schools,” said Michelle Johnson, one in four black female high school students surveyed.
“Our schools are a haven for many students, and it is very hard for them to get the support and respect that they need.”
Many of the students who are interviewed felt that the school was not providing them with a safe and welcoming learning environment.
According to the report, many students were discouraged from attending school because they felt their classmates were hostile or did not understand the issues they were dealing with.
“If I am a person of color and I am feeling vulnerable, it is incredibly frustrating for me to see that,” said Jazmine M. Burch, who is white and is the only black student at her school.
“When you feel unsafe, you feel like there’s something wrong with you.”
Despite the challenges that many young people face, the Black Women and Black Girls Initiative (BYG) believes that the media has a role to play in addressing the challenges facing young women of color.
“One of the challenges of our society is that young women who have access to media, especially in the black community, often have the highest levels of media exposure,” said Gail C. Harris, the president and CEO of BYG.
“The problem is that we see a disproportionate amount of attention given to black women, especially when they are not a focus of the story.
We have to think of all of these different things as being a part of the black experience, and as a result we see the stories of black women and girls being ignored or misread.”
We are constantly being told to shut up, and we have to be able to hear voices that are not silenced.
We need to have access in the Black community and the media.
“The Black Women Initiative, which works with local organizations to empower black women by addressing issues of racism and other forms of gender inequity, also is working to end the cycle of poverty that exists for black women.
In 2015, the group was the first organization to launch a nationwide initiative to end youth poverty, which is now in its fourth year