Maricopa County is home to an estimated 75,000 youth ages 16-24 who are neither in school nor working. Across the County, 13.6% of youth are disengaged from school and work, compared with 14% in the state of Arizona and 12.3% nationally.
Basu et al. (2018). More than a million reasons for hope: Youth disconnection in America today. Retrieved from http://www.measureofamerica.org/youth-disconnection-2018/
Opportunities for Youth will address this challenge in the following ways:
Build public support to help disconnected (opportunity) youth reengage in school and work.
Build a system of support that ensures all youth-serving organizations serving this population have the principles, standards and processes that will health be successful.
Build a system of collaboration and alignment to avoid duplication and to effectively serve as many youth as possible.
Opportunities for Youth is approaching strategies and solutions through adopting the collective impact model. This model consists of cross-sector collaboration to solve challenging problems in the community. No single problem can be addressed in isolation. For large-scale social change to occur there needs to be a concerted effort of the existing players mobilized to take action. Collective Impact is organized around the following five components:
A common agenda, which is the common understanding of the problem and a shared vision for change.
Agreed upon shared measurements, which include collecting shared data and measuring results.
Mutually reinforcing activities, which consist of coordination and joint planning to reduce duplication and maximize effectiveness.
Continuous communication focused on building trust and maintaining consistent and open communication.
A backbone entity that will coordinate and guide the collective efforts and provide support, resources and secure funding to help the initiative move forward in a collective manner.