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Home » Opinion | Reflections on Gen Z and ‘Sellout Culture’

Opinion | Reflections on Gen Z and ‘Sellout Culture’


Credit…Jeff Hinchee

To the Editor:

Re “‘Selling Out’ Isn’t an Insult to Gen Z” (Sunday Business, May 26):

Francesca Mari captures the zeitgeist that we in the social sector are battling: Even as the world’s challenges are more visible than ever, the percentage of graduates putting their full-time energy toward tackling them isn’t growing.

Not only do we need this generation tackling world challenges as soon as possible, but as Ms. Mari’s reporting points out, graduates’ early destinations shape the people they become. Research about the impact of the Teach for All network’s two-year teaching commitments shows dramatic effects on participants’ beliefs about the roots of inequity and how to address it.

Before we blame the young people, let’s consider what we’re doing as a society to foster their sense of agency and intentionality about where to put their time and energy. Most colleges and universities profess neutrality about students’ career choices, even as their career service offices allow employers to “pay to play.”

We can tell a lot about the trajectory of the world by looking at the first destinations of the most promising members of this year’s graduating classes. As parents, influencers and educators, we need to foster choices that will shape the future we collectively want to see.

Wendy KoppNew YorkThe writer is the founder of Teach for America and co-founder and C.E.O. of Teach for All.

To the Editor:

I started my undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College excited to dive into the depths of a liberal arts education: economics, government, engineering, theater, fraternity parties.

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