Who's Behind Us

Our wonderful sponsoring organizations, partners, and funders make OYU and our impact possible

We could not accomplish our impact without the strong support of organizations and individuals across the country who provide financial and technical support to build our capacity as young leaders.

Hear what people are saying about OYU and why it matters, and meet the organizations who make the movement possible.

Public Allies CEO Adren Wilson for Opportunity Youth
WATCH: Opportunity Youth United Launches at Citizen University
Why YOU should join OYU

Voices of support

What our allies and other influential leaders are saying about OYU

  • "This movement to end poverty in America is really important. If we are to fully live out this notion of justice and equity for every young person, we need these young people and adults of every generation to join with them." 
    - Adren Wilson, CEO of Public Allies

    Public Allies
  • “Opportunity Youth experience the most important issues that are happening in our society on a daily basis and they have the wisdom, energy and drive to change social policy in this country."
    —Brian Brady, Executive Director

    Mikva Challenge
  • “Working with Opportunity Youth United will help us better be able to reach out to Opportunity Youth and ensure they have the tools that they need to be successful.”
    —Jenny Ceesay,
       Associate Director

    Partners For Education Berea College


These organizations offer capacity, training and other resources to support our growing movement. (Join them)

America Forward is the Washington, DC-based nonpartisan policy initiative of national venture philanthropy fund New Profit that seeks to break down barriers between all people and opportunity in America. 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes.

Citizen University evolved out of the work of the Guiding Lights Network, founded in 2005. The focus of GLN, including its annual Guiding Lights Weekend conference, was on the art of mentorship. Over the years, that work expanded to encompass the work of community-building and teaching leadership in civic life. So, in 2011 we made the shift to become Citizen University. But there have been two constants throughout this evolution: a cross-sectoral spirit of creativity, and a great core team. 

Civic Enterprises is a social enterprise firm that works with corporations, nonprofits, foundations, universities and governments to develop innovative initiatives and public policies in the fields of education, national service, civic engagement, conservation, public health and more. We work with organizations that seek to challenge the status quo and grow their impact for the greater good. 

Get Schooled is a digital platform working to empower and engage young people and to give them the tools and inspiration to get the education they need to succeed.

The National Rural Assembly is a movement of people and organizations devoted to building a stronger, more vibrant rural America for children, families, and communities.

Opportunity Nation’s mission is to restore the promise of the American Dream by ensuring that all Americans – regardless of where they were born – have the opportunity to thrive.

The Opportunity Youth Network (OYN) brings together national non-profits, businesses, philanthropy, and government — along with young leaders — to align efforts to achieve the collective goal of reengaging one million young people who are disconnected from education and employment pathways to success, often referred to as opportunity youth.

SparkAction is a collaborative journalism and advocacy network to mobilize action by and for young people. They gather, synthesize and promote the best information on a range of child and youth issues across the development spectrum, from organizations and leaders across the country.