Youth and young adults are experiencing an ongoing crisis of disconnection from education and employment; there are nearly 5 million opportunity youth – young people ages 16 to 24 who are not in school or working – nationwide. But communities across the country are banding together to change this situation. The Aspen Forum’s 2016 Annual Progress Report profiles the work going on in these communities and the remarkable progress happening to grow education and employment opportunities.
Over the past several years, the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions’ Opportunity Youth Investment Fund (OYIF) has brought together a powerful learning and movement-building network of 23 communities that are deeply committed to reducing inequities and building opportunities for youth.
We profile just some of the exciting work going on in communities around the US in our 2016 Progress Report, including site progress on:
- Innovative Program Design: deepening and expanding supportive services along the pathway to education and career success
- Collaborating for Success: working to align systems and bust programmatic silos to support opportunity youth
- Equity at the Front: focusing deeply on building equity as a core component of collaborative work
- Changing the Message on Opportunity Youth: promoting new asset-based narratives about opportunity youth
- Engage Youth: creating new models of meaningful and authentic youth engagement
- Sustain and Scale the Work: identifying policy priorities that can smooth the path for opportunity youth progress