“I know that as long as there are people willing to work hard and push through the hard times, you can persevere,” Garcia said. “Me and my family are proven facts of that.”

There are plenty of reasons for Sebastian Garcia to feel downbeat about the future, AP reports.

After his family immigrated from Mexico, he was raised on a farm in northwest Texas, where he says there aren’t many racial slurs he hasn’t heard. When the now-24-year-old graduated from college, he decided to become an educator. But the first few years of his teaching career have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced his public school system to close for months.

Garcia and his peers, meanwhile, have had to navigate the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, weighed down by student loans that have made affordable housing and access to healthcare out of reach.

Despite the challenges of what Garcia describes as the endless pursuit of the American Dream, he says he’s confident that better things are ahead. He’s part of a broader trend among millennials and Generation Z Americans who say they are more likely to be optimistic about the future and their ability to create change than their older counterparts, according to a new poll from MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll measured attitudes among Gen Z Americans ages 13 through 24, as well as 25- to 40-year-old millennials and 41- to 56-year-old Gen X Americans.

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