In the United States, more than 4.6 million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither in school nor employed. About half of us are living in poverty. In recent years we have been called “Opportunity Youth” both because we are seeking opportunity and we offer the nation an opportunity if it would invest in ways for us to rebuild our communities and our lives.
Opportunity Youth United is a national movement of young leaders who have decided to join forces to increase opportunity and decrease poverty in America. We are a group as diverse as America. Our members are Black, White, Native American, Latinx, Asian, and Mixed Heritage with different religions, ethnicities, genders and sexual identities representing urban, rural, and tribal communities.
Members of our coordinating body, the National Council of Young Leaders and the majority of our members, have endured poverty, suffering all manner of difficulties including homelessness, discrimination, and violence. We have experienced being out of school and out of work, with no place to turn.
We received opportunities empowering us to transcend these circumstances. As a result, we are dedicated to creating a society with safety and opportunity for all, and to strengthening our communities for our peers, families, and future generations.
OUR VISION, MISSION AND IMPACT
Our vision is a society with opportunity and responsibility, love and respect, education and employment, justice and equality for all. We envision a nation where all young people can reach their highest potential and noblest aspirations in the context of safe, supportive, and healthy communities.
We have developed Recommendations to Increase Opportunity and Decrease Poverty in America to get us there.