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

It didn't take me long to realize I had won the birth lottery.

Of course it would be satisfying to think that I landed at Harvard purely as a result of my own hard work. But the truth is, the financial and social capital I happened to inherit placed me on this trajectory well before I studied for my first exam.

Growing up, I was unlike some of my friends because I was lucky enough to have access to privileges like academic support and adult mentors at home.

As a young black man in public school, I was deeply troubled to learn that this element of chance had grave implications for my friends seated across the lunch table. We had so much in common, yet the short distance that separated our neighborhoods set us on vastly different trajectories. The contrast became more evident as I started college while former classmates began their adult lives behind bars.

In communities across this country, I see faces that look just like mine on the other side of the opportunity gap. It's an injustice I take personally.

I'm going to invest in young people and the neighborhoods they call home, because I'm not leaving our collective future up to chance.

— Hayling Price