Bill Clifford designs and leads “apprenticeships” for Boston-based Citizen Schools, a nationally expanding nonprofit organization devoted to preparing 9 to14 year-old students for high school and strengthening multicultural urban communities. As a Citizen teacher, he is introducing two new apprenticeships this spring—Show' ems and Race to Recycle. Previously, Clifford developed and taught a course in personal finance and investing, and several Boston middle school campuses now participate in the Kids Invest! apprenticeship.
Clifford attributes his own modest success as an investor to the many years he spent covering financial markets in Asia as a journalist for CNBC and CBS MarketWatch, whose bureaus in Tokyo and Hong Kong he established in the 1990s.
The constant practice of living most of his adult life "outside the comfort zone"! (and, by coincidence, outside the U.S.) did little to prepare Clifford for handling experiences that were maximally uncomfortable in the wake of his family's 2003 return to the U.S. He lost his first job outside journalism, a job he thought he really wanted, and he and his wife rescued a marriage that they both thought was beyond lost.
These ultimately happy outcomes made it possible for Clifford to explore new zones since last year's Conference—volunteering as a hurricane relief worker, joining a church for the first time in decades, coaching soccer, and resuming his book project on the Japanese Meiji Era philosopher and art scholar Okakura Kakuzo.