Karen Pittman

Youth Today: Build Partnerships To Build Success

Effectiveness. Scale. Sustainability.

Most nonprofits struggle to achieve these three goals. Few struggle more than youth service providers. Even Karen Pittman, co-founder and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, a national nonprofit that’s been around since 1998. In this piece for Youth Today, Karen offers up her own advice on how to achieve those three goals.

youth engagement

Youth Today: The Untapped Power of Youth Engagement

We increasingly hear talk these days about youth engagement, a popular youth-development strategy that has been successful in many places – but that remains underused in many others. True youth engagement involves young people in the creation of their own destinies. The education and youth-service fields have substantially increased youth-engagement efforts and opportunities in recent […]

zero tolerance

Youth Today: The Harm of Zero Tolerance Gone Wild

If schools in your community practice zero tolerance policies, you might want to see why a youth suicide compelled the Forum’s Karen Pittman and Patrick Boyle to blog about the potential harm of such policies. Their message: Forcing a kid to leave a school means a lot more than changing the location of the math […]

young woman in debt

Youth Today: Let’s Help Youth Who Are in Doubt and in Debt

Once again, young people are bearing the brunt of our failure to monitor effectively the institutions they go to for help. You only need to read one story about students amassing huge college debt, which some will never repay, to believe that something has to be done, now. There’s some good news: Federal regulators are taking […]

eternal hope

Youth Today: ‘Hope Springs Eternal,’ according to Gallup Poll

It is one thing for the poet Alexander Pope to suggest that “hope springs eternal in the human breast.” It is another for the leading pollsters to prove it. At a recent Gallup event releasing two polls on education, Dr. Shane Lopez, Gallup senior scientist and creator of the Gallup Student Poll, reported that students […]

college students holding books

Youth Today: Ready For Life, Yes That Means College

The core belief here at the Forum for Youth Investment – that all young people should be Ready by 21 – ready for college, work and life – often provokes public criticism.  The exchanges typically go like this: “Not every young person needs to go to college,” calls out one person from an audience. True, […]

Youth Today: Generators or Batteries?

If we are a profession, what do we profess? And what are the implications for training? These were the questions asked of the 150 youth workers gathered in South Africa in late March to discuss a national youth work policy. Equality, opportunities, empowerment, self-determination were the answers to the first question. Youth work, they concluded, […]