National Opportunity Youth Organizations: Year-In-Review and 2018 Goals


The Opportunity Youth Network (OYN) works collectively on the goal of reducing the number of opportunity youth in the country by 1 million every five years and spent the past year supporting the passage of legislation, establishing and expanding important partnerships, releasing strategic publications – and more.

Opportunity youth are defined as 16-24-year-olds out of work and school and number 4.9 million in the U.S.

Co-convened by the Forum for Youth Investment, the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions (AIFCS) and Gap Inc., the OYN community is a diverse network of business, government, foundation, and nonprofit entities and youth leaders. This OYN yearbook, which was released at the OYN 2017 Annual Summit, tracks the impact this network has made this past year, as well as its plans and growth for 2018.

For example the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color supported partners who worked to help pass significant California state legislation that addresses in-school suspensions, undocumented students, non-discriminatory admissions and suspension policies at charter schools and housing assistance, among others. The yearbook also details the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions’ (AIFCS) new strategic planning process that will transition the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund to the Opportunity Youth Forum. We hope this transition will allow for new partnerships with rural, tribal and urban communities.

Other highlights:

  • Grads of life released a new PSA campaign in collaboration with the Ad Council and received $90 million in donated media
  • Goodwill is joining with Google to expand digital skills training and credentialing through local Goodwill organizations
  • The iFoster Jobs Program was selected for formal evaluation by the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families as a promising program for foster youth employment
  • The Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute is expanding the Generation Indigenous National Native Youth Network, which was launched by President Barack Obama
  • AIFCS and Jobs for the Future are hosting the Opportunity Youth Forum Spring 2018 Convening in South King County, WA from May 14-17

Read more about OYN’s happenings here:

Learn more about what was discussed at the OYN Summit: