Michael Harkess, 16, from the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, considers himself to be part of the proletariat.
“Although it is extremely difficult in today’s society,” he says, “social mobility is achievable for the lower class.”
He believes that as long as he works hard in school and graduates from college, he might be in a better position in the future. However, there is a huge obstacle facing him. That is, the exorbitant cost of college.
The solution: Government has to tax wealthier people more, he says, so that young people like him have a better chance to leap the social ladder.
Moving up from a socioeconomic class is a lofty goal but a harsh reality can be found on the ground.
Jonathan Duque, 16, from the O’Bryant, believes that many jobs don’t pay well enough for the working class to have a significant financial improvement.
The challenge to maintain a family, a job, and a good education at the same time, he says, may deprive him of accessing a higher social rank.
McCain Boonma, a sophomore from the O’Bryant, says that institutional racism and its effect on one’s environment can still be a barrier to social mobility, even for the middle class.
“Some people grow up with certain values,” says Boonma, “that hinder or boost their chances.”
This article was prepared in collaboration with 826 Boston.