By: Ashmar Mandou
At Tuesday’s Opportunity Youth Summit, Thrive Chicago partnered with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Thrive Chicago’s member organizations to announce a bold new citywide campaign to reconnect 10,000 Opportunity Youth to school or work in the next three years. To address the urgent needs of the tens of thousands of youth aged 16 to 24 who are neither working nor in school, Thrive Chicago and partners have outlined a plan and a call to action to stakeholders citywide to support disengaged youth with a pathway to succeed. “Thrive Chicago and the City of Chicago are working together to ensure every child in the city has access to opportunity and a brighter future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “To reach vulnerable young people who are out of school and out of work requires a coordinated, collaborative campaign. I want to commend our partners at Thrive Chicago on launching this new effort and look forward to continuing to work together to help more opportunity youth get back on track.”
The Summit and the 10,000 Reconnected Campaign were borne out of recommendations by the Opportunity Youth Working Group—a cross-sector collaborative of more than 30 community based organizations, government agencies, policy makers, researchers and foundations. Led by Thrive Chicago, a citywide collective impact initiative, and the City of Chicago, the Opportunity Youth Working Group first convened in July 2016 to review the latest research in the field, feedback by key leaders, and capacity in Chicago to develop a plan of action to support Opportunity Youth in getting back on track. An Executive Summary that includes the complete list of recommendations, Opportunity Youth Working Group members and more detail on the 10,000 Reconnected Campaign is attached. For more information, visit www.thrivechi.org. Thrive Chicago is a nonprofit that partners with hundreds of organizations in Chicago to design and drive shared solutions to the most pressing problems facing youth.