Blog: Social Innovation Fund Award Demonstrates Momentum for Reconnecting Opportunity Youth


Momentum for efforts to find meaningful pathways to reconnect the nation’s 6.7 million Opportunity Youth continues to grow — and the collective impact initiatives supported by the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions (AFCS) and our Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF) grantees are receiving national attention.

We’re thrilled to announce that AFCS, in partnership with Jobs for the Future (JFF), has received $6 million in funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF). You can read the full press release here.

The results of the grant competition were announced last week at SIF’s Annual Grantee Convening. After the announcement, Melody Barnes, Chair of the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions, called the investment an “honor,” and underscored how important this is to our ongoing work, especially in regard to the innovative Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund.

“From California to Maine, our grantee communities are changing the way cities and towns reengage young people who too frequently go unnoticed,” she said. “Because of the SIF funding, we can further develop the collective impact approach to improve education and employment outcomes for opportunity youth.”

Upon hearing the news, Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, expressed his support for AFCS and its mission to improve education and employment outcomes for opportunity youth across the country.

“The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions continues to chart a new course of collaboration across systems and sectors to reengage opportunity youth. From the OYIF to the Forum’s other initiatives, these programs are transforming the lives of young people. This award not only speaks to the programs present accomplishments, but also demonstrates confidence in their ongoing success.”

Please help us spread the word by telling your friends and colleagues about this work, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for continued updates! If you tweet about us, be sure to use the hashtags #SIFund and #OYIF.