Opportunity Leaders

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Opportunity Leaders are a national network of advocates who have personal experience with barriers to advancement in America. They are dedicated to removing obstacles for others and expanding upward mobility in their communities.

Opportunity Leaders will be participating in Opportunity Week 2017, taking place February 21- 24. 

#OppWeek is a four day social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. During last year’s #OppWeek we received over 100 commitments from Opportunity leaders ranging from volunteering and engaging local policymakers, to starting their own community initiatives. We’ll be checking in on those commitments and making new ones.

Opportunity Leaders will share their stories, their work and the actions they’re taking to increase opportunity for young people, including what they do for their communities, the challenges and solutions in expanding opportunity for young people and their accomplishments as community leaders.


Day 1 – Tuesday 2/21 – Introduction to Opportunity Week. Sample tweet: For #OppWeek I’m volunteering at @ABC to shape #TheNationWEMake

Day 2 – Wednesday 2/22 – Twitter Chat, 3:00 p.m. EST. Goal: Discuss the challenges and solutions of expanding opportunity for young adults

Day 3 – Thursday 2/23 – Engage policymakers around the goals outlined in “Our Opportunity Nation,” spotlighting Opportunity Leaders’ civic engagement.

Day 4 – Friday 2/24 – Photo essays: my proudest moment as a leader in my community / future action steps.

Meet two of the inspiring leaders who were a part of the 2016 Opportunity Summit:




Bill De La Rosa recently graduated from Bowdoin College with a bachelor’s in Sociology and Latin American Studies. A Mexican-American and first generation college student, he served as the student coordinator for the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project, a member of the national State Farm Youth Advisory Board and the youngest of 15 U.S. delegates selected by the Forum for Cooperation Understanding and Solidarity (FoCUS) to work alongside 15 Mexicans to draft policies and influence U.S.-Mexico affairs. Bill is a Gates Millennium Scholar, a John Lewis Fellow, a Harry S. Truman Scholar and a few months ago was named the national Hispanic Scholar of the Year. He is passionate about immigrant rights and is currently working as a Policy Analyst for the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation before pursuing a master’s degree in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford in the fall of 2017.



Alexius Ridenour lives in the small town of Jefferson, Iowa. She graduated from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in December of 2016 with her Liberal Arts Degree. Her plan is to transfer to Grand View University to earn a Bachelor’s Degree to be a secondary math and science teacher. She’s the mother of three young boys under the age of five, and they are her motivation to pursue her dreams and goals. At DMACC, she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the campus Student Activities Council and the Honors program. Her college experience opened her mind to new perspectives, which allowed her to see the world in a new light. She’s active in her community as a volunteer for a local nonprofit organization, where she works with the mentally disabled at a bargain shop. Her dream is to help the less fortunate so they can live happy and healthy lives. She is naturally curious, determined and hopeful. Her interests include following politics, enjoying the outdoors, advocating for the environment and reading. Her favorite quote is from Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”


View the complete list of the 2017 Opportunity Leaders

To learn more about being considered as an Opportunity Leader, please contact us at selena@opportunitynation.org.





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