The campus of George Washington University was abuzz on September 19th with the Opportunity Nation Summit 2012. Opportunity Nation is a bi-partisan, cross-sector campaign with a nationwide focus on a population labeled “opportunity youth,” which coincides with “disconnected youth.” The Summit served as an opportunity to all involved individuals (young people, service providers, policymakers, journalists, researchers, businesses, etc.) to come and rally together to promote promising practices and share challenges and lessons learned. Equally important was the opportunity to re-energize one’s passion for this work in the company of a multitude of dedicated individuals, given the challenges on this front.
The full day of events included breakout sessions that tackled issues ranging from strategies that employers can use to positively impact “opportunity youth” to the role of the media in covering this issue. In addition, the Summit served as a release event for multiple platforms. Not only did the Opportunity Nation campaign release a plan to keep the American Dream alive for all individuals, the National Council of Young Leaders promoted their Recommendations to Increase Opportunity and Decrease Poverty in America. Finally, the 2012 edition of the Opportunity Index was unveiled. This tool evaluates opportunity at the state and county levels according to a variety of indicators within the economy, education, and community arenas.