Keep Calm & #YJAM On | October 3, 2013

News, tools & views to spark positive impact in the lives of children & youth



It's an exciting time for those helping "opportunity youth"---- young people ages 16 to 24 who are not working or in school ---- get themselves back on pathways to strong futures. Across sectors and at all levels, there are both longstanding and new efforts underway, and new momentum to coordinate, learn from and build on successes.

Get inspiring stories of what's happening, information, and ideas for action in the shared ALL IN hub for Opportunity Youth >>

PLUS: President Obama's surprise visit to last week's Youth Jobs+ Summit.
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Youth Justice Awareness Month (#YJAM)
October is YJAM! The Campaign for Youth Justice has a full list of local community activities, ways to take action online and cool graphics to share on social media. 

Join the Dignity in Schools campaign in a national week of action against harmful school discipline policies ---- act now to disrupt the "school-to-prison pipeline."

Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) Matters
Want to know more about this landmark legislation and why it matters? Check out these blogs by juvenile justice experts on how the JJDPA has led to safer and fairer approaches, and find ways to take action to support critical funding to state and local programs.

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The latest news, tools and resources for your work.
Opportunity for All

First to Finish College 

A project of SparkAction & Demos


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Youth Voices

Through a Young Eye: Youth Photographs
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange ( compiled a compelling collection of photographs taken by youth. With a poignant eye to their daily lives, their cities and even the dangers of their walk to school, this collection shows that a photo really is worth a thousand words.


Youth Policy Watch

Tracking policy developments from Capitol Hill to your corner.

Bipartisan Resolution to Create a Presidential Youth Council Introduced
DC capitolThis week, Congressman Larson (D-CT), Congressman Bishop (R-UT) and 15 cosponsors introduced H.J.Res. 68 to create a Presidential Youth Council. This sends a strong message to the Obama Administration and the American public that the voice of young people is a valuable commodity in policy debates and must be taken into account. Learn about the Presidential Youth Council and let your elected officials know where you stand.

What the Government Shutdown Means for Kids & Families
As the federal government shuts down due to an impasse around the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, millions of families and low-income youth are losing vital services. Youth Today reports.

Pathways Back to Work Act
Rep. George Miller (D-CA) introduced legislation in July that would create work and educational opportunities for long-term unemployed workers and low-income adults and youth who are at risk of being left behind as the economy recovers. The National Skills Coalition says to watch for important activity.

In the States

Indiana Commission for Children
Indiana passed a new law creating a Commission on Improving the Status of Children. The group, chaired by  Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta H. Rush, will study issues facing the state's most vulnerable youth and improve the coordination of services. The Tribune-Star reports.

About this Update

The SparkUpdate links policy and practice to improve the lives of children, families and youth. We bring you stories to inspire, research and policy developments to inform, and tools and opportunities to take action.  About SparkAction


Thanks for being part of the SparkAction community!  Please share your stories and resources with us.

Caitlin Johnson and Thaddeus Ferber
SparkAction and the Forum for Youth Investment |
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