College And Career Readiness
In order to ensure all young people in the city are on a pathway toward a family-supporting career, Milwaukee Succeeds has identified the need to support youth and young adults who have become disconnected from school and work. Currently, there are an estimated 18,709 young people aged 16 to 24 who are out of school and not working in Milwaukee. This population is referred to as Opportunity Youth due to their massive untapped potential, as well as their positive aspiration for personal success. In October, 2016, cross-institutional partners gathered to assess our current state of support for Opportunity Youth and collaboratively envision the desired change for our community. This process guided the partnership to develop a strategic action plan that addresses the needs of Milwaukee’s Opportunity Youth and aims to reconnect them with pathways toward education and career success.
Current strategies of the Opportunity Youth Network include:
- Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Re-engagement: A lack of awareness and access to opportunity has overemphasized the role of chance in determining successful outcomes for Opportunity Youth. In response, we aim to simplify and streamline the re-engagement process so that more young people can benefit from supports and services.
- Improving the Quality of Pathways: In order to better support Opportunity Youth and ensure they remain engaged in pathways toward success, we aim to support service providers in offering high-quality programming. Through collaborative inquiry, partners learn more about evidence-based best practices and develop common language for program quality.
- Opportunity Youth Council: In partnership with Employ Milwaukee, we established a new youth council that engages less-traditional leaders, specifically those who have experienced disconnection from school and work. These young people use their own experiences to inform and collaborate with the broader Opportunity Youth Network.