Archives For September 2012

Closing the youth skills gap

This Wednesday, September 19th Opportunity Nation, a national campaign comprised of over 250 organizations across different sectors working to facilitate greater social mobility in the U.S, will hold a summit in Washington, DC.

The critical topic at hand is how to enable youth — and particularly those who are non-college bound — to access pathways for future life success.  Making greater headway toward this goal would be monumental given the findings of a Pew Research Center study published earlier this year: just 54 percent of people ages 18-24 held jobs, the lowest rate for this demographic since the government started tracking these data in 1948.

Part of the agenda at the “Opportunity Summit” will be to highlight the significant work nonprofits are doing to redress this problem.  One organization that deserves particular mention is Genesys Works.  With sites in Chicago, Houston, and the Twin Cities its principal goal is to enhance the life chances of low-income high school students for whom college likely won’t be in their future.

Youth in the program are given the opportunity to work in internships at major corporations during their senior year in high school.  After an 8-week intensive training program, students are placed at a company.  The experience enables them to discover that they can succeed as professionals in the corporate world, a model that other nonprofits like Year Up have proven works.

To help Genesys Works promote greater opportunities for disadvantaged youth, consider giving online.  A donation of $2500 provides the funds necessary to train and support a student during the 14-month program…and change a life forever!

Helping Neighbors Help Themselves


Now that we’ve heard the rallying cries from both candidates and we’ve seen just how divided the two parties are, it’s clear how much the nation needs a unifying change agenda.


We’ll have to look outside politics to find one.

Here’s an agenda around which democrats and republicans should be able to agree: Helping Neighbors Help Themselves.  Those four words have guided the work of Neighborhood House for over a century.  This Portland (OR) nonprofit is a resource for low-income people and recent immigrants, enabling them to overcome the challenges in their lives that impede their attaining success and independence.

It’s a soup-to-nuts organization that offers programs for young children, teens, families and seniors.  Head Start, employment assistance, transitional housing — these are just some of the many ways this organization makes sure that no stones are left unturned in helping vulnerable people to access greater opportunities.

Declining public funding means Neighborhood House depends on private donors now more than ever.  Contribute online.
* $50 can provide a term of after-school tutoring for two youth.
* $100 can provide four sessions of employment counseling.
* $250 can provide a month of guidance for at-risk youth.
* $1,000 can purchase 5,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry.

The organization also needs volunteers.  If interested, please fill out an application.