I didn’t grow up immersed in the American dream. A house in a safe suburb, 2.5 kids, a dog—none of that. It wasn’t my life. I come from a single-parent home in a neighborhood that grew rougher with each passing year. I’m a product of New York City public schools, where some teachers cared but others told you they were just there for a check. I had outdated textbooks and school-provided lunches where they told me pizza is a vegetable (tomato…