The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps communities work toward their vision where “all children are ready for college, work and life; all families and communities are supportive; all leaders are effective.”
The Forum for Youth Investment relies on both research and experience to bring together ideas, strategies and partners for solutions for young people and their advocates. The goal is to provide communities with tools to ensure that their children and youth are ready for education and work, families and the community are supportive, and leaders are effective. The Forum uses research, policy and practice knowledge in its work with leaders and partners across multiple sectors and at various levels. The Forum’s stated mission, according to its website, is to create opportunities and incentives for youth and adult leaders to think differently, act differently and act together because they are:
The Forum’s “Ready by 21” framework specifically focuses on standards that fall within four categories: 1
The Forum emphasizes that “Ready by 21” is not a program or method, but a challenge, approach, commitment, and partnership. “Ready for 21” challenges to leaders to think and act innovatively and it offers tools for leaders to build upon current initiatives and resources, including webinars, toolkits, technical trainings, etc. National partners include the United Way Worldwide, American Association of School Administrators, National Collaboration for Youth, and others working to promote youth readiness.
The Forum now works in more than a dozen communities nationally. For example, in 2008, leaders from the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services assembled over 100 organizations from across the state to craft shared goals and a shared plan to achieve them, using the “Ready by 21” to provide framework for establishing common goals and desired outcomes.