“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
When it comes to the legacy I hope to leave, I have some tough acts to follow.

My grandparents escaped death in Nazi concentration camps to provide a safer environment to raise their children. Thirty years later, my parents fled a war-torn Israel—with nothing to their names—to move to the United States in hopes of offering my sister and me an even better life and even more opportunity.

In the notion of legacies, each generation tries to provide a better life for the next. But how do you follow such acts, when your starting point is growing up in a middle-class American suburb?

While the impact I can have on my immediate family might not be as great as the impact they had on me, I have come to realize that it is my obligation to provide a better future for society as a whole.

Injustices are still rampant in American society today. Discrimination against race. Discrimination against religion. Discrimination against sexual orientation. My legacy will be to leave this world with less prejudice and more equality than the world we know today. I will volunteer. I will defend. I will refute. I will support. I will do these things so that the next generation can come into this world without any barriers. My parents paved the path for a better life for me. I think I have a responsibility to continue the tradition.

And at 29 years old, I realize my work has just begun.

— Mike Cohen