• Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Opportunity Divide

I first heard this term while reading the website of Year Up, a very cool organization in Boston that has an audacious vision - "In the future, every urban young adult will have access to the education, experiences, and guidance required to realize his or her true potential."  How cool is that!  It is the word "every" that makes it audacious.  This is an organization with the power of conviction sufficient to claim its vision of making a major difference in its area of influence.

And they claim a mission that is up to the task as well - . . . "to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education."

As I explore the nonprofit world, I continue to find amazing organizations that are doing incredible things to lift people up - in this country and around the world.  The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the nonprofit world as organizations use best practices and quantifiable metrics to execute their strategies and to measure their successes.  I am very excited to have this opportunity, at this point in my life, to make this career shift so that I can be part of this movement.

Okay, back to the "opportunity divide."  According to Year Up's website, in 2006 there were 4.3 million young adults who were neither employed nor enrolled in postsecondary education.  In a technologically driven and very competitive labor market, this won't work.  Young adults need the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to find meaningful work that pays a living wage.  Sometimes, young adults with ambition simply need a little direction and support to find their way.  What a great investment to make - to provide that opportunity!

By the way, Year Up was one of 45 organizations to receive the 2008 Fast Company Social Capital Award.  Cool!

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