BreakThru News, Ep. 9: The American Dream


By Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein

Is today’s American Dream alive and well? To the extent that the American Dream means wanting to ‘make it on your own,’ the answer appears to be yes: a survey conducted by Young Invincibles, a non-profit devoted to maximizing youth opportunities, found that over 50 percent of young adults wanted to start their own business or had started one. Only 8 percent, however, had actually done so at the time of the poll, with only 11 percent planning to do so within the year—a lack of financial resources, knowledge, and business education respectively were cited as main deterrents.

Yet in today’s unsteady economic climate, with unforgiving job prospects and confusion over the professional value of college degrees, perhaps there’s never been a better moment to strike out on your own. In the words of Scott Gerber, author of Never Get A Real Job, “Young people… need to create a job to get a job.”

This week on BreakThru News, we get three different perspectives on the matter: Luke Holden, co-founder of the popular Luke’s Lobster food trucks in DC, Philadelphia, and here in the Big Apple, left his investment banking job in New York City to start a lobster shack. 11 restaurants later, his entrepreneurial risk is paying off, though it was not what he would have imagined for himself before embarking upon a career.

Nathan Simington, our second contributor, initially pursued his passion for music and violin playing, even to the point of achieving a master’s degree as well as playing in symphonies, before completely reorienting his profession down a more secure path as a lawyer. Finally, Aaron Smith, co-founder of Young Invincibles and senior strategic advisor at the organization, joins us with his expertise in social issues and the challenges facing today’s young adults in the workplace. The consensus sees optimistic, though not without some caveats.

Video Credits
Host, Writer – Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
Video Editor – Andy Morell
Script Supervisor – Matthew DeMello
Research – Tanya Silverman
Copy Editor – Dane Feldman

with guests – Luke Holden, Nathan Simington, Aaron Smith