Foundation Announces Multiyear Partnerships in Three Communities to Help Youth Thrive by 25

Posted June 21, 2022
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
A yellow map of the united states showing where the three new Thrive by 25 investments are located.

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has launched mul­ti­year part­ner­ships in three com­mu­ni­ties — in Albu­querque, New Mex­i­co; Atlanta and Bal­ti­more — as part of its Thrive by 25® com­mit­ment to invest­ing in the well-being and suc­cess of young peo­ple ages 14 through 24.

These part­ner­ships will help guide com­pre­hen­sive local efforts — already under­way — to advance oppor­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple. The goal in each place is the same: Help youth build skills and enter the work­force while sup­port­ing their basic needs and rela­tion­ships with fam­i­ly and mentors.

Pro­vid­ing both grants and exper­tise, Casey will work with a lead part­ner in each com­mu­ni­ty. These are:

The Foundation’s invest­ments and tech­ni­cal assis­tance will expand capac­i­ty for these local­ly-dri­ven efforts to build oppor­tu­ni­ties for large groups of youth and young adults across these com­mu­ni­ties and regions,” says Tomi Hiers, vice pres­i­dent of the Foundation’s Cen­ter for Civic Sites and Com­mu­ni­ty Change. 

Bal­ti­more and Atlanta are both Casey civic sites — com­mu­ni­ties where the Foun­da­tion has home­town ties and has long invest­ed in inte­grat­ing promis­ing pro­grams and approach­es for serv­ing chil­dren and their families. 

New Mex­i­co has housed a vari­ety of Casey ini­tia­tives, includ­ing JDAI®, the Jim Casey Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive®, Thriv­ing Fam­i­lies for Safer Chil­dren and Learn and Earn to Achieve Poten­tial (LEAP)™, as well as the Albu­querque Jus­tice for Youth Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lab­o­ra­tive, which brings togeth­er more than 20 Albu­querque-based orga­ni­za­tions in a mul­ti-year effort to ensure that all young peo­ple are healthy and thriving.

Future Focused Edu­ca­tion: Advanc­ing Intern­ships and Work-based Learn­ing in New Mexico

Future Focused Edu­ca­tion works to trans­form edu­ca­tion and schools to bet­ter respond to stu­dents’ needs and con­nect them to col­lege and career opportunities. 

The orga­ni­za­tion incu­bat­ed, devel­oped and sup­ports the Lead­er­ship Schools Net­work, a group of indus­try-focused schools in Albu­querque that seek to serve the near­ly 40% of stu­dents who are dis­en­gaged from the tra­di­tion­al school system.

With Casey sup­port, Future Focused Edu­ca­tion plans to:

  • expand X3, its intern­ship pro­gram that pairs stu­dents with local employ­ers in com­mu­ni­ties that have his­tor­i­cal­ly been dis­con­nect­ed from such opportunities. 
  • devel­op a new ver­sion of the intern­ship pro­gram, X3 NeXt, to sup­port intern tran­si­tions to college;
  • sup­port schools and dis­tricts in strength­en­ing or imple­ment­ing new work-based learn­ing pro­grams; and
  • devel­op a fund­ing pool that com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers — includ­ing youth — allo­cate to local nonprofits.

Unit­ed Way of Greater Atlanta: Cre­at­ing Appren­tice­ships While Sup­port­ing Basic Needs

Unit­ed Way of Greater Atlanta works to improve the well-being of local chil­dren and youth, espe­cial­ly the near­ly 500,000 chil­dren and youth in Greater Atlanta who lack access to the basic oppor­tu­ni­ties and resources they need to thrive.

Casey will sup­port this work through two main strategies:

  • Career­Ready ATL, a new effort to expand local appren­tice­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple of col­or who are fur­thest from oppor­tu­ni­ty and offer them mul­ti­ple path­ways to eco­nom­ic well-being and self-suf­fi­cien­cy; and
  • grant fund­ing and coor­di­na­tion with part­ners in the areas of aca­d­e­m­ic sup­port, path­ways to careers, col­lege plan­ning, secure hous­ing and basic needs.

Atlanta Region­al Col­lab­o­ra­tive for Health Improve­ment will fur­ther these strate­gies by engag­ing young peo­ple, edu­ca­tors, employ­ers and oth­er partners.

Baltimore’s Promise: Advanc­ing Youth Skills, Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Deci­sion Making

Baltimore’s Promise works to help all Bal­ti­more City youth trav­el a safe, healthy and suc­cess­ful edu­ca­tion­al path from cra­dle to career. The orga­ni­za­tion will use demon­stra­tion projects, research and advo­ca­cy to improve out­comes for Bal­ti­more City’s young peo­ple, ages 14 through 24, while work­ing to pro­mote equi­ty and elim­i­nate racial disparities.

Through its part­ner­ship with Casey, Baltimore’s Promise will:

  • lever­age its Grads2Careers ini­tia­tive, which con­nects high-school grad­u­ates to sup­port­ive ser­vices and job train­ing pro­grams that lead to career paths in a vari­ety of fields 
  • share lessons and sto­ries to build resources and opportunities;
  • devel­op and dis­sem­i­nate evi­dence that sup­ports reshap­ing sys­tems and remov­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty gaps; and
  • shift key gov­er­nance struc­tures so that young peo­ple are deci­sion mak­ers and bet­ter posi­tioned to enhance equi­ty and opportunities.

About Thrive by 25 and Casey’s Com­mit­ment to All Kids

For more than sev­en decades, the Foun­da­tion has been com­mit­ted to build­ing a brighter future for America’s chil­dren, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties and work­ing to ensure that all young peo­ple — no mat­ter their race, back­ground or ZIP code — can real­ize their full potential.

To advance this work, Casey announced an increased focus on young peo­ple ages 14 through 24. This deci­sion is root­ed in research indi­cat­ing that rapid brain devel­op­ment, iden­ti­ty for­ma­tion and growth occur dur­ing this peri­od — and impor­tant impli­ca­tions for suc­cess in adulthood.

Through Thrive by 25, the Foun­da­tion will devote half of its grant mak­ing over the next decade to coor­di­nat­ing and con­nect­ing pro­grams, sys­tems and resources in five key areas to help youth thrive. These areas are:

  1. Basic needs: Young peo­ple need imme­di­ate sup­port to meet their basic needs — food, hous­ing, safe­ty, phys­i­cal and men­tal health, trans­porta­tion and child care — so that they can focus on long-term goals and become self-sufficient.
  2. Per­ma­nent con­nec­tions: Young peo­ple deserve to have sta­ble, per­ma­nent con­nec­tions with a lov­ing fam­i­ly and oth­er sup­port­ive and car­ing rela­tion­ships with adults in their com­mu­ni­ty who can help them nav­i­gate school, work, finances and life issues.
  3. Edu­ca­tion and cre­den­tials: Young peo­ple should have the sup­port they need to grad­u­ate from high school and obtain a post­-sec­ondary cre­den­tial that will posi­tion them for eco­nom­ic success.
  4. Finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty: Young peo­ple need access to tra­di­tion­al or entre­pre­neur­ial employ­ment and finan­cial tools and prod­ucts that allow them to build sav­ings and credit.
  5. Youth lead­er­ship: Young peo­ple can devel­op skills to advo­cate for them­selves, pro­mote poli­cies that will help them and their fam­i­lies suc­ceed and play a lead­er­ship role in mak­ing their com­mu­ni­ties stronger and safer over the long term.

Read the about the launch of Thrive by 25

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