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Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America explores the human stories of poverty and showcases promising solutions. A few decades ago, if you had a job, you probably did not live in poverty. But today, full-time, well-paying manufacturing and blue-collar jobs that were once a ticket to upward mobility have disappeared, and income disparity is growing. Increasingly, people working full-time in low wage jobs are living in poverty, and today, more and more of those making minimum wage are adults trying to support families.

What’s Your American Dream Score?

  • Your American Dream Score asks respondents to answer 13 questions about their life.
  • Each question represents a factor that research shows correlates to social mobility and/or happiness in life.
  • Similarly, all of the options within each question are also based on specific research related to mobility or positive life outcomes.
  • Once completed they receive a composite score and a list of factors working for and against them.
  • The higher your score, the more you had to overcome.
  • The lower the score, the more you had working in your favor.
  • People are also given a link to a song that symbolizes their journey (i.e. gratitude, struggle, pride)

With score in hand, people are then encouraged to take an action — including sharing it with others, thanking those that helped them get ahead, diving deeper into each factor and connecting them with organizations that help people move up in life.

Learn more about how this tool was created, related psychological research, and how our experiences shape our view of the “American Dream.”


  1. First, explore the Chasing the Dream website.
  2. Next, complete the quiz. It should take about five minutes and you’ll find out what factors were working in your favor and what you had to overcome to get where you are today. At the end, you’ll receive an overall score and a personalized summary of the results (and probably a big dose of pride and gratitude).
  3. Then, share your score results as a screenshot ( How to take a screenshot with a PC or Mac ).
  4. Now, write a post detailing where you agree or disagree with your score. Do you believe the score and factors the quiz identify reflect you lived experience? Why/Why not.
  5. Finally, look at the scores of classmates, find a classmate with a dissimilar score and provide a written reflection on the differences

 

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