Karen Pittman's Youth Today Columns

Karen Pittman, Executive Director of the Forum, regularly writes a column for Youth Today, the newspaper on youth work. This archive includes articles from her entire stint writing for Youth Today and covers a variety of topics related to children and youth.

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Youth Today: Promises, Promises.

By Karen Pittman, July 1997

The President's Summit for America's Future unleashed an unprecedented wave of national commitments, local mobilization, media coverage and individual good will. The question at hand is obvious. Will America's Promise be able to ride that wave to shore? As one who was there before, during and immediately after the Summit, I have this answer: It has to.

1997-07-01
Youth Today: Private Competition, Public Confusion

By Karen Pittman, July 2000

The staff at the International Youth Foundation-US (now the Forum for Youth Investment) spend a lot of time in meetings — other people’s meetings. Occasionally, these meetings spark distinct emotions. Last month’s meetings left us humbled, angry and embarrassed.

2000-07-01
Youth Today: Precision Engineering

By Karen Pittman, May 2008

Creating sound bites that are not only memorable but communicate a message is a passion of mine. Every now and then I hit one out of the park. “Problem-free isn’t fully prepared” is still in use after more than 15 years. I think “bringing precision to our passion” may be the next one to stick.

2008-05-08
Youth Today: Powerful Pathways Indeed

By Karen Pittman, April 2002

Vulnerable youth. College access. Career success. Alternative pathways. Alternative credits. Learning supports.

These themes are increasingly the subject of conversations among progressive educators, particularly in groups that combine K–12 reformers with higher education researchers and specialists. This is a world in which we need to move. These are outcomes that youth workers need to claim as their own.

2002-04-01
Youth Today: Politics + Science = Science Fiction

By Karen Pittman, March 2003

The Bush administration unveiled its request last month to cut funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CLC) program by 40 percent for fiscal 2004. This is not good news. But it is not surprising.

2003-03-01
Youth Today: Policy, Policy, Policy

By Karen Pittman, May 2001

I hate receptions and cocktail parties. One reason is that I am basically anti-social. Another is that I hate the inevitable question, “What do you do?,” which seems simple but is difficult to answer. In an effort to steer people away from thinking that I work directly with youth (something I haven’t done for going on 30 years), I often state that I do youth policy research. Then comes the question, “What is youth policy? Does the U.S. have a youth policy or a set of youth policies?”

2001-05-01
Youth Today: Paint By Numbers

By Karen Pittman, April 2001

Technology doesn’t always improve lives or even save time. So I’m always delighted to find quiet ways in which technology is making a positive difference.

2001-04-01
Youth Today: Out of the Inbox and Into the Streets

May 2010
By Karen Pittman

Column time: I reached for the “recent research” inbox and pulled out five studies – three national surveys, two major evaluations – and started to read, looking for common themes. Good stuff.

2010-05-07
Youth Today: Out at School

By Karen Pittman, September 2003

In July, the New York Post broke the news about the city of New York's decision to open Harvey Milk High School, the first accredited school in the country for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) youth. The Department of Education has run a small alternative program for such youth for two decades, but the $3.2 million renovation budget to create a stand-alone school marks a new level of visibility and commitment.

2003-09-01
Youth Today: Opportunity Knocks

By Karen Pittman, March/April 1997

Voluntary action. Organizations, associations, corporations across the country are being called upon to make significant, new commitments toward ensuring that more children and youth in the United States have a caring adult, a healthy start, safe places to learn and grow, education for marketable skills and opportunities to give back through services. LensCrafters will give one million eye exams to low-income citizens, many of them children and youth. Kimberly Clark, in partnership with Kaboom, has committed to build playgrounds.

1997-03-01