This link is for the Horatio Alger society which aims to encourage people to strive and succeed in life. The society raises money to provide a scholarship for a few high school graduates every year with the means to 'strive and succeed'. The people chosen are those who have overcome significant adversity in their lives.
The reason that the society gives for this society is that they feel it carries on the land of opportunities that was around during Horatio Alger's time. This land of opportunities was that through hard work and some luck anyone can become economically sound and respectable. This is shown in Ragged Dick as it is through Dick's hard work and a few chance meetings, one being the meeting with Frank and his uncle which gave him a smart clean set of clothes and advice on money and a financial start of $5 which lead Dick to rent accommodation and work his way up to becoming economically better and which you can assume meant Dick carried on working his way up in the world.