Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Opportunities for Youth

Opportunities for Youth

Learn more about your impact

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 re-engages 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 re-enrollment, high school diplomas, postsecondary degrees and workplace learning.

In 2021 alone, OFY Reengagement Centers conducted outreach to 12,447 opportunity youth, connected 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 re-engaged in educational pathways (44%) and 1,825 youth were re-engaged in career pathways (44%). The remainder (484 or 12%) were connected to other services.

Over the past five years (2017-2021), OFY has re-engaged 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.

Impact of Donor Support

  • More learners can pursue higher education. In 2022, 22,000 donors contributed $66.3 million for scholarships.
  • More students succeed. ASU ranks #1 among the state’s public universities for its 86% first-year retention rate thanks in part to donor-funded student success initiatives.
  • And donors helped ASU offer more than 4,500 hours of free tutoring.

We want to show the power of a university to be a difference-making partner in the positive transformation of all communities."

ASU donors

Mike and Cindy Watts

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