Although I did not know it at the time, my path to business school began on March 1, 1992. It was my ninth birthday, and I was enjoying the liberty that came with growing up on a farm on the outskirts of a small mining community in Ohio: riding my all-terrain vehicle (ATV) through muddy fields and plunging in and out of puddles of melted snow. My future career was far from my mind, but even at that young age, I was contemplating the world and my place in it. In Appalachia, opportunity ebbs and flows with the demand for steel and coal. And in 1992, many of the factories that had provided the community’s lifeblood sat dormant along the banks of the Ohio River. Consumed by poverty, the soft bigotry of low expectations had crept into the social construct, sentencing families in underserved communities like mine to a lifetime of waiting for steel and coal’s resurgence. Through rust-colored lenses, our place in the world appeared immutable. [...]