Because the disconnected youth population is diverse in its age, skill level, career interests, level of motivation and goals for education, programs must be targeted and responsive to individual needs and interests.  Providing multiple pathways to high school graduation enable youth to choose an approach to education that matches their needs.  However, before appropriate programming can be designed and implemented it is incumbent upon communities to do a deep analysis of its youth population in order to identify particular needs, patterns and persistent challenges, and to create programming matched to these characteristics. Year Up

This thorough understanding can help communities develop the capacity to provide comprehensive systems of support that extend beyond academics and provide multiple re-entry points to an educational and career trajectory.

Our Connecting Youth to Opportunity investments include:

District of Columbia: A partnership with the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates to produce research and communications tools that will inform a citywide advocacy campaign focus on disconnected youth.  The research products include: 1.A study of the causal factors of young people’s disconnection and re-connection and best practices in sustaining re-connection from the perspective of youth; and 2. A funding “map” of government funding streams and associated services targeted to disconnected youth and providers. Click Connecting Youth to Opportunity: Better Understanding the Needs of Disconnected Youth in Washington, DC  to download a copy of the report.

Montgomery County, Maryland: A partnership with Identity, Inc. to produce a large-scale needs and asset assessment defining the challenges impacting disconnected Latino youth and youth on the verge of disconnection in Montgomery County, a county symposium to develop an action agenda to ensure that county policies and programs address the unmet needs of disconnected Latino youth, and a report defining the lessons learned from the symposium and assessment and as well as an action agenda  for cross-sector stakeholders to improve policies, practices and programs to address the unmet needs of disconnected Latino youth in Montgomery County. Click the link below to download the report.

Prince George’s County, Maryland: The Community Foundation will produce a series of issue briefs focused on the four key elements deemed by Prince George’s County Public Schools as critical elements to ensure all students succeed – early childhood, parent engagement, dropout prevention and college and career readiness.  Each brief defines the challenges, opportunities, lessons learned and recommended action steps for public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors as well as residents to work in partnership to create a world class P-20 cradle-to-career educational system in Prince George’s County. Click on the links below to read the issue briefs released to date.