“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I plan to build trampolines. Remember jumping on one as a kid - the more you jumped, the more support you got - and like magic - you rose higher and higher, as though you could bounce forever? I grew up on such a trampoline. No, my family wasn't in the circus. I had teachers pushing me, parents supporting my endeavors, and friends encouraging me to follow my dreams. It was this network of expectations that acted as my trampoline, constantly demanding greater heights. Most children aren't so lucky. They grow up in a world devoid of high expectations, or any expectations at all. Those around them are too busy keeping order in the classroom, making rent, or joining gangs to notice them. To ask: "Do you want to go to college?" - "Have you read a good book lately?" - "Can you even read?" How do we prevent these kids from falling through the cracks? The traditional answer is to build safety nets, but I think that isn't enough. I will spend my life building trampolines for children who grow up without a network of high expectations. I want them to experience the magnetic thrill of being pushed, supported, and encouraged. The beauty of a trampoline is that it doesn't have to be big. And it only takes one bounce to get going.

— Valerie Bockstette