Students in urban and poor communities are exposed to persistent forms of trauma that result from violence, hunger, unstable housing, and the broader effects of poverty and racism. Most will not perform well in school unless these basic survival needs are met. When urban youth do manage to find academic success, despite these challenging circumstances, the unspoken societal message is that success means "getting out" of their neighborhood. If the most resilient and successful young people leave their communities, then the vicious cycles of poverty and despair are never broken. We are determined to tackle these problems with love, hope and teaching methods that inspire students to achieve academic success while instilling in them a sense of responsibility to return to their neighborhoods to build thriving sustainable communities in urban centers in the U.S. and around the world.