This report by FSG outlines how a collective impact approach can improve outcomes for Opportunity Youth (i.e., youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market).
About This Report
This report is intended to serve as a call-to action for communities to bring together systems and stakeholders to improve outcomes for Opportunity Youth and to provide a high-level framework for a collective impact approach that will enable them to do so.
To inform this report, FSG interviewed experts that work with Opportunity Youth at the local, state, and national levels, and conducted secondary research to leverage the sizable literature existing in the field. We also conducted focus groups with former Opportunity Youth that are now on a solid path to education and employment. Examples, learning, and results from community-based collective impact and Opportunity Youth initiatives are cited throughout the report. A full list of interviewees and resources may be found in the Appendix.
Defining Opportunity Youth
We define Opportunity Youth as youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. This definition comes from the White House Council for Community Solutions and other prominent resources in the field, including Opportunity Road and The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth. While we recognize the critical importance of ensuring that youth are supported from cradle to career, this paper will address only the challenges and approaches around the population of youth aged 16 to 24 who are already disconnected, and not those who are at-risk or off-track but still in school.