The system of public (K-12) education is perhaps the greatest engine for opportunity in Colorado, so we have chosen building a solid base for literacy during the elementary school years as the next critical gateway to a life of opportunity.
I n our free market economy, the ultimate gateway to opportunity is a good income that allows a family to accumulate assets and save for the future. And unlike health or education, wealth can be stored, shared with one???s family, and passed on from generation to generation.
The Bell Policy Center offers a hopeful and inclusive vision for Colorado - one grounded in the basic American value of opportunity. We believe Colorado ought to be a state of opportunity for all, regardless of race or economic background - a place where individuals have the opportunity to build better lives for themselves and their families and to participate in the many blessings of democracy.
In this first edition of Colorado: The State of Opportunity, we introduce the Cycle of Opportunity and show how, for most Americans, success requires a series of steps that build on one another and accumulate over a lifetime of effort. We have identified some of the key points in life that are critical gateways to opportunity and highlighted specific indicators to help us understand who is successfully passing through each gateway and who is not.
A safe and stimulating early childhood is the nex major gaeway to a life of opportunity. The first several years of life set the foundation for future physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.
An active and healthy childhood and adolescence is an important gateway to a life of opportunity. Eating right , exercising and avoiding high-risk behaviors are fundamental choices that impact short- and long-term health, social, educational and economic opportunities.
Leaving school ready to succeed is the next important opportunity gateway. For much of the last century, so long as you were a loyal employee and worked hard, it was possible to get and keep a good paying job that had decent benefits even if you did not have a high school diploma. Those days are gone. Today, the successful completion of high school is virtually indispensable to one???s prospects for success.