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2,383 Youth Today: Reading Between the Studies

By Karen Pittman, June 2001

“System building is slow...”

“The diversity of the field has all kinds of implications...”

“Only a modest percentage of low-income children participate...”

“Revenues to programs serving low-income children fall short — sometimes far short — of resources needed to maintain even minimal quality programs...”

3,134 Youth Today: Ready = Ready = Ready

By Karen Pittman, July 2006

The month of May produced yet another study showing that the skills young people need to be ready for life beyond high school may be the same whether they are headed to college or the work force.

9,406 Youth Today: Ready for Life: Yes, That Means College

By Karen Pittman, December 2008

The core belief here at the Forum for Youth Investment – that all young people should be Ready by 21 – ready for college, work and life – often provokes public criticism.  The exchanges typically go like this:

“Not every young person needs to go to college,” calls out one person from an audience. True, I say, but all should be ready to.

3,036 Youth Today: Rebuilding Community Block by Block

By Karen Pittman, May/June 1995

Neighbors. Everyone over 40 tells the story of how if they did something wrong two blocks away, their parents knew about it before they got home. There is widespread agreement that those days are gone. Neighbors have either gone to work, moved to the suburbs, or been silenced by fear of youth violence and parental indifference.

There were no neighbors present in the Fredricksburg, Virginia, convenience store on April 17th when six customers watched a 17-year-old brutally beat a clerk to the floor. No one stopped the teen, no one called the police, no one helped the bloodied clerk. The concept of neighbors seems to be in danger of extinction.

3,206 Youth Today: Reflecting on 10 Years of Reflection

By Karen Pittman, July 2004

70,000. That is roughly the number of words I have written for this column over the past 10 years. It seems appropriate to devote this column to a decade of reflection.

3,079 Youth Today: Responsibilities and Reasons

By Karen Pittman, November 2000

Rights. By international standards, U.S. youth advocates don’t talk much about rights. There are recurring discussions of lapses in children’s rights. There are discussions of youth problems, many of which stem from basic injustices grounded in race and poverty. There are groups that have worked with young people to create versions of Children’s Rights or Youth Rights Bill (e.g., Girls Inc., the National Children’s Rights Alliance, the Children’s Defense Fund). There is a concern that young people do not exercise their right to vote. But there is relatively little discussion about participation as a right.

2,583 Youth Today: Riding on the Coattails of Brown

By Karen Pittman, May 2004

I often look for opportunities to tell people that I received an excellent education from the Washington, DC, public schools. I have long known that my years in the city's public schools contrast sharply with the experiences of most students in the system today. What I didn't know, until recently, was that they were also an anomaly in their own time.

10,410 Youth Today: Rights and Responsibilities Revisited

By Karen Pittman, February 2003

"Third time's a charm." One of those family sayings I have found to be not only colorful, but equally applicable in child rearing, home repair and public policy analysis. If, in the course of a month or two, the same challenge pops up in three different situations, I take note. In the public policy arena at large, the challenge is how to link ever-growing interest in out-of-school time programs with building interest in youth civic engagement.

5,584 Youth Today: Risky Businesses

By Karen Pittman, June 2004

Consider this: In 2001, more young people declared bankruptcy than graduated from college.

3,448 Youth Today: S.O.S. for Youth

By Karen Pittman, September/October 1994