Standing Room Only at the Capitol: Disconnected Youth Briefing Draws Crowd

On Tuesday, September 25th, disconnected youth were the focus for practitioners, advocates, and legislators alike. A Congressional briefing sponsored by the United Way Worldwide and the Campaign For Youth, entitled “Reclaiming Our Nation’s Disconnected Youth,” emphasized prevention and re-engagement strategies for individuals who were in danger of or had already dropped out from high school. The packed room (individuals had to be turned away at the door because the turnout was so great) heard from a five member panel that included representatives of the education, youth development, advocacy, and workforce development fields. Highlighting the importance of breaking down barriers between the multiple agencies, organizations, sectors,  etc. that provide essential services to youth and young adults, the guest speakers were able to provide concrete examples of what was working across the country. Later, some of these successes, along with the vast challenges facing disconnected youth and service providers, were brought to life by a group of young adults. Three young men elucidated the positive impact that targeted programs had on their life courses.

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