Youth Today Column: Adolescents are a force for good

Shahrukh Khalibeak, 17, is a force for good.    He and his family arrived in the U.S. in August 2021 after the Taliban seized complete control of Afghanistan. As the oldest of six children, he is not only making the transition to a different school environment, but also working part time, learning to drive, and being […]

Youth Today Column: Recentering Youth Work in the Wake of Compelling Evidence 

I’ve been struck once again this month, while reading Youth Today, by how the stories and commentaries demonstrated the complexity of what it takes to meet youth and families where they are – struggling to succeed in spite of homelessness, facing the realities of institutional biases that are condoned in staff, speaking out against youth violence, or receiving a […]

YT Multi faces

Youth Today Column: Policies that Erase Black, Brown or LGBTQ Youth are a Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on teens, accelerating the declines in youth mental health that were evident before the pandemic. New CDC survey results from the Division of Adolescent and School Health document the growing mental health threats to teens. In 2021, 44% of high school students reported persistent sadness or hopelessness, compared to just under 37% in 2019. […]

Youth Today Column: Ensuring youth access to people, places and possibilities

All of us understand the importance of having supportive people, stable places and significant possibilities in our lives.  Most of us have had the experience of having one, maybe two of these life pillars shaken. But the foundation undergirding these pillars is inherently unstable for the more than 4 million youth experiencing homelessness each year.  The […]

Students in Classroom with Many Absent

Youth Today Column: What it takes to get and keep youth in school

A story about Black elementary school children jailed for non-existent crimes caught my attention in October 2021 when it was first picked up from ProPublica and featured in Youth Today. I checked then to see if publications more traditionally followed by those in the k-12 education space covered the story. They hadn’t.  Read the full column on Youth […]

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 […]