We are unexceptional humans. When we were children, we were told in elementary school that we could become president. There were around twenty-four students in our classroom, and there are 307,006,550 people in the United States, so it was always a statistical improbability. But we didn't know that at the time. By the time we realized the odds of anyone in Mrs. Gordon's second grade class becoming president, we had also realized that becoming something exceptional, like president of the United States, takes more than the normally allotted human ration of skill, talent, hard work, intelligence, character and luck. There was never really much we could do about being the kind of person who could one day become president.

By now, we have realized that there is great inequality in the world. There is an inequality of talent, skill, intelligence, strength of character, and luck, and there's still not much we can do about that. But there is also a great inequality of opportunity, resources, and support in the world. Some people have more than their fair share, and that means that there are those whose past performance, because of their circumstances, has been marked by under-achievement, lack of confidence and a dearth of choices, community support, material resources, and appropriate instruction. We at The Endowment for Unexceptional Humans understand that this has shaped the past of many people, and we believe it does not have to determine our future, or yours.

Therefore, it is our central mission to provide resources and support to regular people, regardless of their ability to demonstrate, through past achievements, their worthiness. We do not look at CVs, resumes, or lists of accomplishments. We support people who can demonstrate that they have perseverance, resilience, character, and a plan for success. In other words: if you want a scholarship from The Endowment for Unexceptional Humans so you can attend college or further your education, you do not need to show us your GPA, SAT, or even letters of recommendation. You need to show us a solid plan for your success. That means that you need to be aware of your skills and the things you need to work on. Statistically, if you are entering college as a first year student, you only have a sixty percent chance of graduating within six years. If you are lower-income or a minority, your chances plummet.

We do not give merit scholarships. There are enough merit scholarships in the world, and those who qualify for them do not need as much help as those who do not. One should not have to be extraordinary to have a chance at an education, a career, an innovation, the ability to move freely about the neighborhood and the world. We do not need merit scholarships. We need human rights.

Many school systems now push "college for all" but we are finding out that you can get anyone into some kind of college. The problem is that those who struggled to get there cannot get out with a degree because they have not been given the skills and support to succeed. We believe that everyone deserves educational opportunities. We believe that a certain amount of opportunity and support is simply a human right. Similarly, we have all heard that most restaurants fail within a year of opening. Most companies fail, and most new inventors do not, in fact, become rich quickly. The statistics are daunting, but the ability to try to succeed with a worthy personal project should also be a human right.


Next: Who You Are
How you can be an excellent human

Why It's Important
What in the world we're doing

Resilience, perseverance, character, support. Excellence for all.

"We workin on my future. Why you need to know my history?" --Cam'Ron

"Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the world." --Archimedes

"When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to live an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself." --Jacques Cousteau

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©2010 The Endowment For Unexceptional Humans
Amy L Clark, Jeremy P Bushnell, and Scott Thomson.