Experts: The Time Has Come for Opportunity Youth (VIDEOS)

April 29, 2013

At the 2013 Ready by 21 National Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., experts gathered and shared about one of the biggest topics in the youth development field today: Disconnected, or "opportunity", youth. Here are some video highlights of the speeches from experts Melody Barnes and Lisa Hamilton.


Melody Barnes

When former White House domestic policy adviser and the Chair of the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions Melody Barnes began her speech about the Opportunity Youth movement with a story about suitcases on wheels. Why? Because roller bags, she said, offer a lesson in how to recognize and capitalize on a "market-making moment" - which is where we now stand in the mission to change the odds for youth who are disconnected from school and work. Barnes emphasized that now is the time for to help opportunity youth:


Why this is our "market-making moment" for the opportunity youth movement

Why and how the Obama administration is concentrating on opportunity youth

The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions opportunity youth work:


Lisa Hamliton

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's President Lisa Hamilton broke down the nation's population of 6.5 million opportunity youth by age range, race and parental status, then talked about why they are disconnected. Watch segments of Hamilton's discussion (with charts) about the opportunity youth population and about why it's hard for young people to find work:

Who are opportunity youth?

Why is it so hard for young people to find work?