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

It's time to make readiness a basic right.

A more equitable future is one where every young person is ready to meet life’s opportunities and challenges – no matter their background or circumstances. To reach a future where everyone can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential, we must treat readiness as a right guaranteed to every young person.

Too many young people are entering adulthood without the skills, mindsets, and supports they need to be ready. With new and emerging brain science, decades of evidence on policies and programs, and innovative efforts to re-imagine where and how learning happens, we’ve got a pretty good sense of how to change this.

We know that if we don’t pay attention to readiness in all of its forms, we cannot meet our mission. Changing the odds for young people requires paying attention to the whole person and providing opportunities that advance antiracism and equity, not just equality. It requires a focus on quality, not just access. And it means aiming for genuine readiness, as defined by young people themselves, not just credentials or “seat time.”

Youth readiness by the numbers.

4.5 million

U.S. 16-24 year-olds are not in school or the workforce


of people enter adulthood without adequate college, work, and life skills


In 16 states, only 7 of 10 low-income students will graduate

Our commitments to making readiness a right.

To help build a more equitable future for rising generations, our commitments center around making sure every young person is equipped for college, work, and life—especially those who have been historically under-served, marginalized or criminalized.


Assemble a national movement.

With our parent organization, The Forum for Youth Investment, we commit to bringing together existing efforts and emerging brain science to help build a national movement to ensure that readiness is a right for every young person, no matter their background or circumstance.


Provide capacity-building infrastructure.

We commit to maintaining a platform to share knowledge and evidence, produce and adapt tools to support digital components of state campaigns, and cross-pollinate the learnings of all partners to continuously nourish the entire readiness network.


Facilitate long-term narrative change.

We commit to supporting the field with actionable stories and data to help us all understand the challenges and the solutions: specifically, the abilities, skillsets, and mindsets that enable all young people to be ready. We also commit to elevating and uplifting the voices of those working to improve readiness.

It takes a village.

We’re proud to be part of a robust network of organizations.
We connect partners seeking to increase opportunity to storytelling and mobilization services.

Real efforts, real impact

We partner with organizations and campaigns working to prioritize readiness for young people.


A nationwide coalition for youth readiness

The Readiness Projects are an umbrella initiative led by the Forum for Youth Investment, SparkAction’s parent organization, to bring together existing efforts and emerging science to help build a national movement to ensure that readiness is a right for every young person, no matter their background or circumstance.


Ready by 21

The Ready by 21 campaign has readiness and equity at its center. It connects efforts across the country, elevates and amplifies the emerging brain science, supports effective practices and relationships, and spotlights lessons learned.