The Flint & Genesee Opportunity Youth Coalition builds on the community’s many strengths by helping to align current efforts and fill necessary gaps, and by creating a strong strategic framework for improved collective impact.
How we nurture our most vulnerable youth – at home, in school, and in the community – has a direct impact on Flint and Genesee County’s future prosperity. By bolstering the pathways to education and employment for these youth, we can provide a skilled workforce to local business and industry, strengthening our economy and community.
Ensuring that Opportunity Youth have the resources they need to realize their full potential is vital to the future: theirs and ours.
In recent months, a coalition of educators, service providers, academics, behavioral health professionals, business leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement, workforce development agencies, community leaders and youth themselves- the Flint & Genesee Coalition for Disconnected Youth – have convened around the issue of Opportunity Youth to set in motion a shared vision and approach toward the needed collective impact.
Over 60 partners have contributed to the strategic direction of the Coalition in their effort to re-engage this population.
The Forum for Youth Investment helped the Coalition develop common language and a more thorough understanding of the challenges facing Opportunity Youth, and they helped develop a strategy for the work ahead. For a complete report of the planning process and conclusions, see the Flint Final Report.
The planning efforts of the Coalition have resulted in two key priorities:
- Long-Term Project – Enhance a Re-Engagement Center for Flint & Genesee County Opportunity Youth
- Short-Term Project – Support existing programs, events, and activities that help connect Opportunity Youth to the services they need
Additional efforts are in place to:
- Collect Data – The Coalition is working to document programs and services, sub-population data, geographic mapping of residents and services, track community progress over time, etc.
- Generate Visibility – Residents, youth, business leaders, and other community leaders need to know about this challenged population and support solutions. The Coalition is committed to educating others about the costs and opportunities associated with Opportunity Youth.
- Enhance Program Connections – Support shared learning about existing programs and resources in our community and connect with other initiatives through strategic participation in relevant networks, coalitions, alliances, etc.
- Attract Resources – The Coalition consistently monitors grant opportunities and convenes partners to pursue new resources that support the collective work of the Coalition, as well as the programs that serve Opportunity Youth.
The work is guided by community partners, residents, and local youth.