Education

Opportunity Youth

Opportunity youth are young people who are between the ages of 16 to 24 years old and are disconnected from school and work. This developmental time period, also referred to as emerging adulthood,[1] has great potential for individual growth through exploring independence and life opportunities. It is a critical window of opportunity for youth and young adults to gain an education and/or training that would “…provide the foundation for their occupational trajectories during the rest of their adulthood.”[2] This can include developing knowledge, skills, and character traits that are important for opportunity youth’s career pathway development.

Life circumstances, such as where someone lives or income level, can disrupt youth’s ability to explore and pursue different careers. Opportunity youth often face hardships, but they also report having feelings of responsibility for their futures, having educational and career goals, and being optimistic about achieving their goals.[3] To most effectively reach out to opportunity youth, it is important to understand who is disconnected; why they are disconnected; how to authentically engage opportunity youth as leaders; and what programming and resources are currently available to individuals, parents/guardians, and organizations that work with opportunity youth.

Resources

Maximizing Federal Funds to Support Opportunity Youth (PDF, 27 pages)
This report from the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions summarizes major federal funding streams resources that can help support opportunity youth. Additionally, the document reports on the difficulties in accessing these resources and impressions on methods to simplify the process. An executive summary (PDF, 4 pages) of the report is also available.

Opportunity Youth Playbook: A Guide to Reconnecting Boys and Young Men of Color to Education and Employment
Developed by the Opportunity Youth Network, this playbook highlights promising practices, strategies, and resources to help communities support boys and young men of color who are opportunity youth. It considers their distinct talents and needs and uplifts strategies beyond those targeted to boys and young men of color more generally.

 

[1] Arnett, 2000

[2] Mendelson, Mmari, Blum, Catalano, & Brindis, 2018, p.54S; Lewis, 2019

[3] Bridgeland & Milano, 2012

Navicate

Navicate (formerly Linking Learning to Life, Inc.) is non-profit organization that acts as both a direct service program operator and an intermediary that supports a collaboration of schools, businesses, colleges, and other organizations to foster opportunities for community service, leadership development, career and college exploration, internships, and employment for youth in Vermont as they transition from school to careers and postsecondary education. Navicate started as a local collaboration and it is now supporting programs and partnerships across Vermont.

Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development (ICYD) Council

The Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development (ICYD) Council is an interagency effort involving multiple state-level departments. Since 1999 the council has worked to coordinate its efforts and support positive youth development throughout Iowa.

ICYD’s structure includes

Promise Neighborhoods

The Promise Neighborhoods program is a place-based approach focused on addressing generational family and community poverty by ensuring quality educational opportunities and providing a range of supports for children, youth, families, and communities.

Project U-Turn

Project U-Turn began in 2004-2005 as a city-wide collaborative to address the dropout crisis in Philadelphia. As of 2011, Project U-Turn has representatives from over 50 organizations, including the school district, city agencies, foundations, youth-serving organizations, universities, parents, and young people.

Youth M.O.V.E. National: Making a Difference through Youth-Adult Partnerships

Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is a youth and young-adult led national advocacy organization that wants to change the world. The organization is devoted to improving services and systems that support young people. They focus on empowering young people to partner with adults to create meaningful change in mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare systems. The organization represents 77 chapters, consisting of 9,000 members across 39 states.

Youth M.O.V.E. National: Making a Difference through Youth-Adult Partnerships

Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is a youth and young-adult led national advocacy organization that wants to change the world. The organization is devoted to improving services and systems that support young people. They focus on empowering young people to partner with adults to create meaningful change in mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare systems. The organization represents 77 chapters, consisting of 9,000 members across 39 states.

LGBT Youth at Risk: Education, Health and Safety – 2012 Policy Briefs

In 2010, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW) initiated a new series of publications to address policy issues in our mission areas of gender, sexuality, and women's issues.
CSW Policy Briefs comprise outstanding applied feminist scholarship by graduate students. For the 2012 set of briefs, we put out a call for policy recommendations in the area of “LGBT Youth At Risk: Education, Health and Safety.” CSW was pleased to receive submissions from graduate students in both the Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Fielding School of Public Health.

African Scholarships

This resource provides information on local and international scholarships for undergraduates, masters and Ph.D. students in Africa and developing countries. Also access information on contests, grants, and fellowships.

The Creativity Conundrum in Educational Leadership

The Creativity Conundrum in Educational Leadership discusses the decline of creativity in the American education system due to its emphasis on standardized test scores and how local education funds (LEFs) and public education funds (PEFs) may be able to fill the void.