Sara Millan (left) thanks Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America CEO Bruce Marks after NACA was able to reduce her family's mortgage during an event in Los Angeles in September 2010. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Damian Dovarganes/AP

IMG Academy pitching coach Dave Shepard gives pointers to pitcher Cameron Varga. Chip Litherland for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Litherland for NPR

Vernon Jackson leaving the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., in 2006. He later went to prison for three years on bribery charges. Caleb Jones/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Caleb Jones/AP

NPR listener Matt Anderson defines the American dream as "having the time, money, health and resources to get to enjoy such simple and whimsical pleasures with my family at our local state fair." Courtesy of Matt Anderson hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Matt Anderson

Hyungsoo Kim brought his sons Woosuk (left) and Whoohyun to California from Korea so the boys could get an American public-school education. In "goose families," one parent migrates to an English-speaking country with the children, while the other parent stays in Korea. Martin Kaste/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Martin Kaste/NPR

Jennifer Larr (center) is seen here in Rwanda at the Gashora Girls Academy, where she was a teacher in 2011. Larr is part of a new generation of young adults focusing on travel, studying abroad and global experiences. Courtesy of Jennifer Larr hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jennifer Larr

Michelle Holshue racked up $140,000 in student loan debt while training to become a public health nurse. She's living her dream of helping others, she says, but never expected it "to be so hard." Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR