Lawanda Leary and her son Reginald sit on a bench at a massive housing project for low-income families. Leary, an unemployed single mom, is planning to join the military, as a way to get benefits and offer financial stability to her son, even if it means going into a war zone and spending time apart from him.

Your Story

Share your story of hope and hard times with us, how you survived, if someone helped you and what the experience has meant to you. We will publish some of our favorites.



"What matters, then, given the current rules if the game, is what kind of opportunity the labor market offers to poor workers, and who among them is positioned to seize it."

- Chutes and Ladders: Navigating the Low-Wage Labor Market, by Katherine Newman