Our Organization

 

The Forum for Youth Investment is an action tank working with national, state and local leaders in more than 35 states. The Forum has more than 45 staff and 15 consultants associated with our two offices in Washington, D.C. and Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Our mission is straightforward: We help leaders get young people ready for college, work and life. Doing so requires a range of strategies – from national thought leadership to on-the-ground action.

The Forum is committed to thought leadership – and to bring academic, field and action research into play where policy and practice decisions are made. We do more than synthesize information. We challenge leaders to:

  • improve youth readiness;
  • increase family, school and community supports; and
  • increase shared accountability for progress.

The Forum is equally committed to action. Each year, we expand our capacity to help leaders who share our passion for big picture change to move these ideas to impact. We create trainings, tools, learning communities, technical assistance and evaluation approaches that respond to their requests and connect them with their peers.

Helping all young people be ready by 21 – ready for college, work and life – is the vision that drives our work. It knits together the branded technical assistance centers, networks, and projects and initiatives we create to organize our staff and be better prepared to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing the national, state and local leaders with whom we work. The Forum is the organizational home to:

Click on the full name to view a one-page overview of the center, network or project. Click on the second mention to visit the website for each center, network or project,

TWO MULTI-FACETED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTERS:

 

TWO NATIONAL NETWORKS:

  • The Children’s Cabinet Network: The Children's Cabinet Network is the only national network of policy coordinating bodies for children and youth, focused on sharing best practices and tools to bring efficiency and effectiveness to efforts to improve outcomes for young people.
     
  • The Opportunity Youth Network: launched in 2013 with the Aspen Institute for Community Solutions to bring together the country’s leading philanthropists, corporations, federal government officials, non-profits and formerly disconnected youth around a goal to reconnect one million opportunity youth in five years.

 

FIVE ONGOING PROJECTS & INITIATIVES:

  • SparkActionSparkAction is, a collaborative online journalism and advocacy platform created in 2008 to mobilize action for and by young people.
     
  • The Policy Alignment Initiative: created in 2013 to galvanize and expand the Forum policy staff’s work with federal, state and local leaders to assess and align government policies horizontally (across systems) and vertically (between levels from local to federal).
     
  • The Evidence Based Policy and Practice Initiative: created in 2015 to leverage the learning we have done in the field and in partnership with the W.T. Grant Foundation by creating proactive strategies to drive the next generation of governmental policy innovations designed to use evidence to improve the quality of programs throughout a system.?
     
  • The Children’s Funding Project, started in 2016 to provide increased support to local children’s cabinets or coordinating bodies that are interested in creating not only youth plans but strategies to fund them and evaluate their impact.?
     
  • The Readiness Project: The Readiness Project seeks to find and synthesize the science of readiness into easy and compelling starter tools and sense-making materials that young people, families, and diverse community leaders can use to assess and align their current efforts toward making readiness a right for all young people.