The Readiness Project

What if we could ensure that every young person is
ready for life's opportunities and challenges?


What does it mean to be ready? 

Being ready means being able to meet life's responsibilities and opportunities. It is a necessary prerequisite for well-being. We believe every young person deserves the right to be ready, at every age and every stage of life. 
In America, more than 4.6 million "Opportunity Youth" ages 16 to 24 are disconnected from school and work. Millions more young people appear to be on track but still lack the competence they need. There are thoughtful efforts underway across the country to improve education and youth-serving systems, and address the conditions that get in the way of young people's health and well-being. 
The Readiness Project is an initiative led by the Forum for Youth Investment, SparkAction's organizational home, to bring these existing efforts together to help build a national movement to ensure that every young person has the right to be ready. It begins with understanding the challenges and the solution, and what we all need to know about the abilities, skillsets and mindsets that enable all young people (indeed, all of us) to be ready, and the developmental practices that adults working with young people can use to support those abilities, skillsets and mindsets.

Hear from Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment and co-founder of the Readiness Project:

In these pages, we invite you to explore the research and resources related to the Readiness Project, and ways to put them to use in your work. Our microsite menu bar above has links to our primer, The Science (& Art) of Readiness, and to an interactive section on the readiness research.

Readiness Alerts


New data show that overall rates of incarceration of young people are down, and so is the number of facilities detaining youth. Learn more.

Readiness should be a right

We know that our nation can and must to better. We have the evidence and the resources to make readiness a right and within reach for every young person, no matter who they are or where they live.

To get there, we need a shared understanding and ways to talk about our current situation—the conditions in our culture, policies and practices that disproportionately limit pathways forward for too many youth, fueling deep and persistent gaps.

We need a common definition of what it means to be ready, and the developmental practices that can happen everywhere youth spend their time to ensure that our systems and settings support every young person in getting ready for life.

This is The Readiness Project.

Explore the
Research & Tools

Explore our frameworks, how we developed them, and how to put them to use in your own work

Get the Readiness Primer

Download The Science (& Art) of Readiness and tools you can take with you

Additional Resources

Learn about the Readiness movement and read our blog