Education experts convene to discuss solutions to capitalize on economic energy of students

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — "Silver rights" nonprofit Operation HOPE, a leader in financial dignity, joined with Gallup to announce findings from the 2012 Gallup-HOPE Index (GHI), a joint project to encourage entrepreneurial development among youth. The organizations also co-hosted a panel discussion on comprehensive solutions to encourage economic and entrepreneurial achievement for America's youth.

The GHI is an annual survey that measures engagement, hope and economic energy of fifth through 12th grade students in the U.S. Through exploration of students' future aspirations and their access to the necessary education and experience needed to achieve these goals, the study can inform educational programs and resources to help students become meaningful participants in the nation's economy. Initiated in 2011, the GHI is part of Gallup's 100 year commitment with Operation HOPE to assess the attitudes and behaviors often ascribed to entrepreneurs and to provide government and business leaders with data about student sentiment nationwide.

Results from the 2012 GHI reveal that America's youth are optimistic about the future and many have entrepreneurial ambitions. The results, based on a nationally representative survey of 1,217 students, show that 43 percent of students plan to start their own businesses. The poll also found that students understand the value of education, with 93 percent agreeing that there is a relationship between level of education and earning potential. Fifty-nine percent said their school offers classes in how to start and run a business.

"The results from this year's Gallup-HOPE Index show that there's a lot of entrepreneurial spirit among our young people, but we need to provide them with better access to the tools they need to succeed," said Jim Clifton , chairman and CEO of Gallup. "We know that investing in our aspiring young entrepreneurs is critical to developing our next generation of small business owners, who will drive prosperity and growth in their communities."

A major conclusion of the study found a large disconnect between the economic understanding and aspirations of America's youth and their participation in the U.S. economy. About half, 54 percent, indicated they have a bank or credit union account. Only 26 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 said they work at a paying job and seven percent of all students polled said they are currently interning with a local business. Also, 32 percent said their parents or guardians have started a business. These findings reinforce the importance of Operation HOPE and Gallup's efforts to equip and empower America's next generation of entrepreneurs.

"Educated, engaged, hopeful kids are the future entrepreneurs of America," said John Hope Bryant , founder and CEO of Operation HOPE. "The Gallup-HOPE Index is the best tool available for measuring that entrepreneurial spirit and how students envision their economic futures. This information helps us tailor programs to foster young entrepreneurs, helping them develop an idea into a business."

The 2012 GHI results were presented yesterday by Shane Lopez , senior scientist at Gallup and architect of the Gallup Student Poll. Following the presentation, Gallup hosted a panel event titled 2013 Gallup-HOPE Index Forum. The event began with remarks from Mr. Clifton. The panel featured education and business leaders who discussed experience and educational accessibility challenges relating to financial and economic issues facing America's youth and how they can be overcome. Panelists included Deputy Secretary Anthony Wilder Miller of the U.S. Department of EducationCelie Niehaus, vice president and chief bank compliance officer at E*TRADE, and Don Graves, deputy assistant Treasury secretary and executive director of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Landon Taylor , SVP at CoreLogic, moderated the panel and Mr. Bryant provided closing remarks.

A full report of the survey's findings and methodology are available at

About Gallup
Gallup delivers forward-thinking research, analytics, and advice to help leaders solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 75 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of the world's constituents, employees, and customers than any other organization.

Gallup consultants help private and public sector organizations boost organic growth through measurement tools, strategic advice, and education. Gallup's 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, and in nearly 40 offices around the world. To learn more, visit

About Operation HOPE
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities. Through its four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, promoted home ownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 1.2 million individuals, families, and small business owners. At HOPE's core is a "silver rights" movement to make free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all communities. To learn more about Operation HOPE, visit, follow us on Twitter, @operationhope, and like us onFacebook.



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