Challenge 2026

Change begins with a goal and commitment.

challenge2026-colorbadgeCitizenshipFirst is asking leading educators, elected officials, business executives, artists and Americans from every walk of life to agree to a clear, simple and shared national goal:  By 2026—the 250th anniversary of our country’s founding—every high school graduate should be able to pass the U.S. citizenship exam. Fewer than half of Americans can do so today. By taking the pledge, these leaders are committing themselves and their organizations to ensuring that all children begin with the most basic building blocks of civic knowledge. Right now, over 97% of naturalized citizens take and pass the exam—proof that this is an achievable goal for all citizens.

If you agree that civic knowledge should be an important priority for America’s schools, join us. Sign Challenge 2026 and help us spread the word.

CitizenshipFirst Schools

CitizenshipFirst is building a network of schools that understand the importance of preparing students for a lifetime of active, engaged citizenship, and full participation in our democracy.

To become a CitizenshipFirst school, contact

The Only in America Project

The Only in America Project sends a diverse corps of public speakers into classrooms to tell vivid, personal stories of immigration, political freedom, entrepreneurial success, military service and other “Only in America” stories. Speakers cultivate among students feelings of opportunity, gratitude, empowerment and enfranchisement. Such sentiments are crucial to a healthy citizenry, but they are rarely consciously fostered among students today.

The Band of Brothers Program

We pair high schools with units of the U.S. military. Students will study the history of their partner unit and carry out projects to support it. When a partner unit deploys abroad, students can also “deploy” to perform a research or civics project.