Is Your City an All-Star?•
This Sunday Houston will host the East versus West clash in the National Basketball Association All-Star game.
A main goal of every player will be to score as many points as he can and win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. While sports commentators are breaking down each player’s stats to identify the leading contenders for MVP, at Opportunity Nation we are looking at the stats of Houston’s Opportunity Index score to see if it has an All-Star or MVP worthy performance.
Harris County, where Houston is located, received a C on the Opportunity Index leaving it as a long-shot contender as an All-Star and out of the game for the MVP Award. On the whole, Harris County is faring only a little better than the rest of Texas, which as a state is ranked thirty-eight in opportunity.
Harris County does have slightly higher scores than the national average in the economy and education. Yet these scores were only marginally better than the national averages in important categories like the unemployment rate, median household income and on-time high school graduation.
However, it fell sharply behind the state and national averages on it’s community score. For instance, the violent crime (per 100,000 population) of Harris County was more than twice the national average and it is one percentage point higher than the national average for “disconnected youth.”
Opportunity Nation knows that investing in communities as a whole is crucial for increasing the success of the individual. Connecting youth not in school and not working with programs is important to help improve the future competitive challenges facing the United States.
The NBA All-Star game engages millions of fans to become involved and Opportunity Nation wants to engage millions more to have a say at even higher stakes–restoring the American Dream. The fans held the power to choose some of the All-Star players by voting for them to be starters. Similarly, the everyday American can hold the power to make his or her county an All-Star and one day a MVP. Opportunity Leaders and Scholars are already embarking on this mission in their communities to restore the ladder of opportunity.
Increasing the score for your community on the Opportunity Index will require hard work and dedication, almost certainly the same thing the upcoming All-Star players and the to be determined MVP of 2013 will say what got them there.