Supporting young people through their transition to adulthood

OUR APPROACH:

When young people transition to adulthood, they enter a critical time where the decisions they make, and the systems they encounter, will directly affect their economic prosperity and agency for decades to come.

That’s why we work to advance opportunities for 16- to 24-year-olds to access, forge and sustain pathways to fulfilling lives, particularly emphasizing the experiences of Black and Indigenous People(s) and/or those whose backgrounds and identities are adversely impacted by historic systems of marginalization.

Building on the knowledge, network and insights gained from our grantmaking to date, we’ve identified four broad priorities based on their potential for impact, their interdependence and the opportunity for innovation and philanthropic impact. These are:  

  • Enhancing efforts to meet basic needs so young people can focus their valuable time and resources on educational and professional opportunities.
  • Increasing and improving navigation supports to connect young people to the diverse education and career pathways available to them.
  • Building social capital to boost a young person’s opportunities for success.
  • Changing employer practice around hiring, support and advancement to make opportunities attainable and accessible to all young people.

Food and housing insecurities are plaguing college students and influencing their ability to retain and graduate. The #RealCollege survey found that 45% of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days; 56% of respondents were housing insecure in the previous year; and 17% of respondents were homeless in the previous year.

In today’s labor market, over 50% of jobs are acquired through a social tie. Career exposure, mentorship and robust professional networks are crucial for young people to start and continue on a path to career success.

Twenty-four million frontline workers face little to no upward career mobility and one-third of these workers are under age 35.

FEATURED INITITATIVES

WA COVID Response Corps
100,000 Opportunities Initiative
WA COVID Response Corps

The WA COVID Response Corps, a partnership between the Foundation and Serve Washington, aims to address food insecurity issues and create meaningful service opportunities for young people, to help keep our most vulnerable neighbors fed and healthy during these difficult times.

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WA COVID Response Corps members and their host sites impact to date:

  • 127,000 service hours completed
  • 30.9 million pounds of food provided
  • 83.8 million meals served
  • 2 million individuals served
100,000 Opportunities Initiative

Millions of youth would like to be working but are unable or unsure how to take the first steps. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative helps them prepare for and land their first jobs.

With millions of job openings in the country, employers are looking to hire strong talent. Answering that call, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative connects employers with young job seekers.

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The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative impact to date:

  • 200,000+ opportunity youth hired in entry-level jobs since 2015
  • 300+ community-based organizations supporting youth success
  • 55+ corporate partners working to hire and retain opportunity youth
  • 47% of participants at Opportunity Youth Job fairs were hired on the spot

GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT

A Way Home Washington’s Anchor Community Initiative, a program to end youth homelessness in four Washington communities, leverages a centralized diversion fund, enabling young people experiencing homelessness to access emergency cash and guidance to stabilize their housing situation. In its first nine months of operation, 220 young people were diverted from homelessness. Of those served, 96% did not return to homelessness within three months, and most importantly, it proved to be an effective strategy for equitably serving BIPOC youth.

Generation connects unemployed and underemployed people to life-changing jobs, from preparation and placement to mentorship and support along their career pathway. With a commitment to collaboration and learning, coupled with strong local and national partnerships, Generation expects to grow from serving 1,000 people per year to 90,000 by 2030.

The SkillUp Coalition helps COVID-impacted workers develop the knowledge, confidence, skills, and training to land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries. Since its launch a year ago, the coalition has grown to more than 60 organizations, including training and education providers, tech firms, employers, and philanthropies, and has supported 400,000 workers through 400 best-in-class training programs.

STAY IN TOUCH

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