Opportunities for Youth

Opportunities for Youth

Opportunities for Youth

Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

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Your gift to Opportunities for Youth will provide the resources for youth to overcome their current barriers, support them on an educational and/or career pathway, ensure their financial security and become contributing members to both their local communities and our Arizona economy.

Opportunities for Youth (OFY), an initiative of ASU’s Watts College of Public Service, is a network of 80+ public, private, and non-profit partners using a collective impact approach to reduce the rate of disconnected youth in Maricopa County—youth aged 16-24 who are not in school and not working. This group is often referred to as “opportunity youth” (OY) because of the opportunities they represent for the local economy and communities.

To address this challenge, OFY:

  • harnesses the power of cross-sector collaboration to create a comprehensive system of opportunity that reengages the Maricopa County’s disconnected youth
  • maintains a system of 18 Reengagement Centers across the county and ensures they have the principles, standards, and processes to help OY be successful
  • works with education partners to reduce barriers to reenrollment, high school diplomas, postsecondary degrees, and workplace learning.

In 2021 alone, OFY Reengagement Centers conducted outreach to 12,447 opportunity youth, connected a total of 4,152 opportunity youth to services of some kind, and connected 3,668 youth to education and/or employment.

Across 15 Centers, 1,843 youth were reengaged in educational pathways (44%) and 1,825 youth were reengaged in career pathways (44%). The remainder (484 or 12%) were connected to other services.

Over the past 5 years (2017-2021), OFY has reengaged 13,945 youth in career and educational pathway programs. 100% of your donation goes to OFY and helps us to:

  • Raise awareness of OY and build public support of programs that help them reengage in school and/or work
  • Ensure OY and their unique needs are considered in education and workforce development planning
  • Bring attention to the impact of COVID-19 on the number and experience of OY in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area
  • Build a system of collaboration and alignment to avoid duplication and effectively serve as many youth as possible
  • Ensure OY are provided high-quality services at accessible Reengagement Centers

Read more about OFY on our website: www.oppforyouth.org

For more information about OFY and how you can get involved, contact Maritza Valenzuela, Program Director, at MaritzaV@asu.edu.

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