Foundation Launches Partnership To Move Results for Maryland "Opportunity Youth"

Posted February 13, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog foundationlaunchespartnershiptomoveresults 2017

The Casey Foun­da­tion and the Mary­land Governor’s Office for Chil­dren are launch­ing a results-based lead­er­ship pro­gram aimed at improv­ing aca­d­e­m­ic and employ­ment out­comes for youth ages 16 to 24 who are nei­ther in school nor work­ing ― often referred to as oppor­tu­ni­ty youth” because of the val­ue they can bring to the econ­o­my and their communities.

Start­ing this month, the Foun­da­tion will work with lead­ers who work direct­ly with young peo­ple or who are plan­ning to cre­ate or expand exist­ing pro­gram­ming to serve this pop­u­la­tion in 10 com­mu­ni­ties across Maryland.

These lead­ers will learn core com­pe­ten­cies, such as how to use data to assess progress, col­lab­o­rate, build con­sen­sus and advance work to achieve results. As part of the cur­ricu­lum, the lead­ers will con­front how race, class and cul­ture affect out­comes and oppor­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple and focus on address­ing these dis­par­i­ties. The pro­gram will sup­port lead­ers as they build the orga­ni­za­tion­al and com­mu­ni­ty capac­i­ty to reach oppor­tu­ni­ty youth.

Edu­ca­tion and employ­ment are two key indi­ca­tors of a young person’s well-being,” said Arlene Lee, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Governor’s Office for Chil­dren. Improv­ing out­comes for 16- to 24-year-olds cre­ates greater eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty that will lead to long-term self-suf­fi­cien­cy for chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies.” Lee also chairs Maryland’s Children’s Cab­i­net, which coor­di­nates the child and fam­i­ly-focused ser­vice deliv­ery sys­tem in the state.

Each of the 10 Mary­land com­mu­ni­ties has formed its own team of local lead­ers to par­tic­i­pate. Par­tic­i­pants include local man­age­ment board mem­bers, school admin­is­tra­tors, coun­selors, non­prof­it man­agers, work­force devel­op­ment direc­tors, post-sec­ondary edu­ca­tion staff, social work­ers and oth­er social ser­vices and health pro­fes­sion­als. Each par­tic­i­pant will attend four two-day ses­sions over the course of 2017.

The Casey Foun­da­tion and the Governor’s Office for Chil­dren share a fun­da­men­tal belief in the poten­tial of oppor­tu­ni­ty youth,” said Patrick McCarthy, pres­i­dent and chief exec­u­tive offi­cer of the Foun­da­tion. Over the course of the year, lead­ers from across Mary­land will be learn­ing new skills and com­pe­ten­cies that pre­pare them to address the kinds of com­plex, mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary chal­lenges that dis­con­nect young peo­ple from school and work.”

Learn more about Casey’s lead­er­ship devel­op­ment approach

Find out how Casey’s Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Fel­lows are pur­su­ing results

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