General Colin Powell

“In some ways, I’m doing something not that different from what I did before. I’m preparing kids for battle against drugs, violence, and despair.” He’ll know he’s winning when kids follow the most important order of all. It’s to “give back to others. You have no greater obligation.”

Retired General Colin Powell is now issuing commands to America’s young: stay off drugs, concentrate on school, and prepare for a job. “I’m giving you an order,” he says, and he helps them fulfill it as founder of America’s Promise. Powell’s latest campaign is “to build our kids and stop building jails.” His troops are 300 organizations that have donated $300 million to provide 10 million disadvantaged youth with caring adults, safe places when not in school, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others.” Powell had them all while growing up as a low-income youth, and they helped him attain the nation’s highest military rank. “In some ways,” he says, “I’m doing something not that different from what I did before. I’m preparing kids for battle against drugs, violence, and despair.” He’ll know he’s winning when kids follow the most important order of all. It’s to “give back to others. You have no greater obligation.”