Media Highlights

How Does an 18-Wheeler Inspire Opportunity?

by Rob Denson   •  

Some people prefer billboard, yard signs or TV advertisements.  Me?  Give me a shrink-wrapped tractor trailer and I’ll show you a powerful way to raise awareness of a critical issue affecting an entire generation of Americans.

Our country is in need of a powerful wake-up call about the needs of young people in America.  Youth unemployment is at an all-time high, and we need communities and sectors to come together to make sure we have opportunities for them.  Opportunity Iowa has joined Opportunity Nation to create a home for ideas that can expand opportunity throughout the state.  And that’s why we decided to send a powerful message by wrapping an 18-wheeler with our message.

The Opportunity Nation 18-wheeler made a bold appearance at the Annual Future Farmers of America Convention last week in Indianapolis.  FFA is a national organization of high school students excited about the future of Agriculture in America.  Nearly 57,000 came from around the United States to attend this convention.  No group of young people anywhere are more attuned to the opportunities that are available to them in agriculture or ag-related careers.

The semi was one of more than 450 educational and for-profit corporate exhibitors at the National Future Farmers of America Convention a few weeks ago.  The semi was impossible to miss on the exhibit floor and could be seen from almost anywhere.  It spent 16 hours on the road between Indianapolis and Des Moines, extending its impact and offering road warriors from across multiple states the chance to see opportunity rolling along.

As a member of the Opportunity Nation Leadership Council, Des Moines Area Community College and Barry Griswell invested in the wrap of this semi to be shown in parades and conventions to promote the work of Opportunity Nation. The semi is a rolling example of all that Opportunity Nation stands for and promotes, and we hope each person who sees it asks themselves “What do I need to do to embrace the opportunity in my life?” 

Whether or not you ever see the semi in person, it’s our hope that you will ask yourself this pivotal question.  There’s so much work to be done to ensure that today’s young adults are provided ways to build a strong and secure future for themselves, but change often starts at home with each one of us.  I hope you’ll click around the websites of Opportunity Nation and Opportunity Iowa and see how you can help create environments that enhance opportunity everyday.  Together, we can make a difference.

Rob Denson

DMACC President and Opportunity Nation Leadership Council Member

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