Portrait Project


Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

JJ Singh

I want to live generationally.

I want to preserve the American Dream.

Years ago, I asked my father to take a day off work and visit Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, with me. As an Indian immigrant, he was always interested in learning more American history.

Conflicted, he sighed, then declined.After 28 years of service in the Department of Veterans Affairs, he was months away from retirement.He was squirreling away his vacation days — each representing a few hundred dollars.

"This will all be your money when I die," he said.

My parents saved to survive, prosper, and ensure that my brother and I had a stable future. They would rather leave behind a financial foundation than splurge in their twilight. Yet, despite their discipline, they couldn"t account for one irony: their new country, their land of opportunity, couldn't save. Their kids would inherit a ballooning national debt and a financial system in disarray.

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I want to change attitudes and the way we imagine our future.

I want to influence policy so that we invest in tomorrow.

But most of all, I want to rebuild an America that the next generation will be proud of.

— JJ Singh