The Science (and Art) of Readiness

Every young person deserves the right to be ready for life’s opportunities and challenges at every age and stage.

What will make this vision a reality? We now have more than two decades’ worth of research to help us act with precision. There is a science to readiness. The Readiness Project is designed to make this science clear, accessible and actionable.

This, the first paper in our Ready by Design series outlines the science of readiness—the results of our three-year research project—and offers ideas and examples to help practitioners, leaders and others put it to use.

paper cover


    Read or download the full paper.











This paper was published on March 30, 2016.

The Readiness Project was made possible by the generous contributions of the Ford Foundation. This paper includes the insights and expertise of so many individuals—young people, caring adults and professionals—who shaped and guided this work. No amount of research compares to hard-earned expertise from the field. We owe much to our colleagues at the Forum for Youth Investment, including staff at the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality and SparkAction. Special thanks to the interns who worked tirelessly on this project, especially Raja Krishna, Sanji Suresh, Micah Goodman, Sarah Taylor, Jacob Metz and Nina Stoller. Lastly, thank you and safe travels to the many young people who are currently journeying through adolescence and adulthood, teaching us about readiness and why it matters. We hope this research finds you and those close to you. We believe it can really help.