Youth Ready by 21: A Five-Year Action Agenda for Maryland
In Maryland, there are many agencies, organizations, task forces and coalitions focused on various pieces of the puzzle needed to ensure that all youth are ready for adulthood. While aiming for similar ultimate goals, these groups are often working in parallel and occasionally at cross purposes due to funding streams and grant restrictions. Borrowing from the Forum for Youth Investment’s “Ready by 21” framework, the Maryland Children’s Cabinet asked that the various stakeholders be brought together to work on the overarching result that “All of Maryland’s 309,000 youth age 18-21 are Ready for College, Work and Life.” To tackle such an overarching goal, group members were challenged to join a process that focused on their own leadership development (through the Maryland Leadership in Action Program) as well as integrated two tested approaches for identifying and achieving results for children and youth – the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute’s Results Accountability framework (Friedman, 2005) and the Forum for Youth Investment’s Big Picture Approach. As the Forum for Youth Investment worked with Maryland’s Ready by 21 Action Team to develop the Action Agenda, they also shared examples and information from other states that have tackled comprehensive youth agendas or worked to align policies on behalf of youth. Best and promising practices regarding youth development were reviewed for inclusion in the strategies and action steps.
The Ready by 21 Action Agenda is comprehensive in scope and built on a holistic assessment regarding the needs of Maryland’s young adults. In developing this agenda, the touchstone has been to focus on a big picture result for all of Maryland’s youth – that they are ready for college, work and life by age 21.
|MD Action Agenda FINAL.pdf||1.96 MB|