READY BY 21 COMMITMENTS
Over the years, we’ve become more explicit, if not aggressive, in our belief that to change the odds we need to set our sights on providing opportunities that advance equity, not just equality; quality, not just access; and readiness, not just credential completion or “seat time.” In all of this, the focus must be not only on investing in young people but on involving and engaging them fully in the work.
Achieving equal outcomes requires equitable opportunities. It also requires leaders to use a equity as a lens informing all of their decisions as they move ideas to impact.
Young people and families are change agents, not just clients. Leaders must engage them along with all key stakeholders – within and across organizations, systems, and sectors.
Leaders must assess and continuously improve quality, reach, and impact across all places young people spend their time.
Young people are ready when they can demonstrate the abilities they need to meet life’s demands. “Problem free isn’t fully prepared” and preparation for “next” is more than a diploma.
THE READY BY 21 THEORY OF CHANGE
Changing the Odds for Youth by Changing the Way We do Business
To get all young people ready to achieve better outcomes, we must improve the quality and quantity of family school and community supports. To improve those supports, we must fundamentally change the way leaders do business for young people
THE READY BY 21 PRINCIPLES
The key ingredients that help leaders think differently, act differently and act together to achieve equity, engagement, quality and readiness.
Challenge champions at all levels of influence to manage complexity, take informed risks and put what is good for young people at the center of their decision-making.
Recognize children grow up in families and communities, not programs and schools.
Invest early and often. Take a whole child approach as young people grow socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically, and civically – from early childhood through young adulthood.
Adapt evidence-based, reality-informed policies, processes & practices. Make data-driven decisions, using disaggregated and new data to make the invisible visible.
Recognize that the characteristics of both formal and informal environments make a difference, and experiences in one environment can have an impact on how young people respond in another.
Build on strengths, don’t just focus on problem-reduction.
Inspire, inform and engage the public and policymakers with powerful stories and data.
Recruit, train and retain good staff and volunteers. Build their expertise in child and youth development.
Support the development of an integrated sense of identity.
Forge common agendas to bridge silos and bring about systemic change. No one department, organization or sector can provide young people everything they need to succeed.
Coordinate efforts and align resources toward common, youth-centered goals.
Support young people as agents in their own learning and development, and as powerful agents of change in their schools, community and society.