The Multiple Pathways to Graduation Work Group seeks to improve education and employment outcomes for opportunity youth by providing a platform for information sharing, professional development, and coordinated investments among local, regional, and national funders. Current work is focused on identifying and advocating for effective programming and policies to provide pathways for vulnerable youth to achieve high school graduation and postsecondary success.

From the Field

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Must Read: Foundations for Young Adult Success

The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research has just released an absolutely groundbreaking developmental framework that is going to change the way we talk about how we ensure young people make the transition to adulthood by age 25. The report, Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework, provides a two-tier framework (capturedRead More


W.T. Grant Foundation Releases Report on Community College Students Who Fail to Earn a Degree

Amid expanded college access over the past several decades, as many as 86 percent of on-time high school graduates now continue their education. But the era of “college for all” has yielded a new set of challenges and obstacles for young people and the institutions that serve them, particularly community colleges. In The New ForgottenRead More


Lumina Foundation Announces Major Initiative Focused on Credentialing

The Lumina Foundation recently announced the Connecting Credentials initiative to spur a national dialogue on building a learning-based postsecondary credentialing system in the U.S. The Foundation and its partners are calling for major changes in what they identify as a fragmented credentialing system in an attempt to make it more student-centered and learning-based by improvingRead More


Jobs for the Future and Aspen Institute for Community Solutions Have Awarded $6 Million to Seven Communities with Successful Youth Programs through Social Innovation Fund

Seven communities, identified as leaders in developing innovative, cross-sector, community-based solutions with strong evidence of improving youth outcomes in low-income communities, have been awarded three-year grants of $240-270K per year to further develop ladders to success for opportunity youth with a specific focus on boys and men of color.


MDRC Releases Brief on Implementation of WIOA Provision on Serving Out-of-School Youth

MDRC recently issued a brief, Serving out-of-School Youth Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (2014). The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law in 2014, is the first major update in nearly 15 years to guide how the public workforce system helps job seekers access education, training, and employment. Compared with itsRead More

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Member News


The Hyams Foundation’s New Strategic Framework

The Hyams Foundation trustees recently approved a new strategic direction for the Foundation, and we are very pleased to share an overview of it with you. This new framework builds directly on our grantees’ experiences and accomplishments as well as on Hyams’s own core capacities and role within the local funding community. It also reflectsRead More

Casey report

Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Succes

by the Annie E. Casey Foundation May 19, 2015 This KIDS COUNT policy report highlights state data that point to the urgent need to ensure, through sound policies and proven practices, that everything possible is being done to find loving, nurturing and supported families to children in foster care. The report also highlights the promisingRead More


VOYCE Advancing New State Legislation in Illinois (SB100)

SEE UPDATE: Groundbreaking Bill to Address “School-to-Prison Pipeline” Passes Illinois Legislature The Just and Fair Schools Fund shared that Voices for Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) student leaders are charging forward in their campaign to pass SB 100, which would create a new Illinois statewide standard for the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, prohibit useRead More


New Video Highlights Ways to Use the KIDS COUNT Data Center

A new video from the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data Center provides state and federal legislators, child advocates, community activists and journalists with vital, customizable information about children and families in their state, county, city, congressional or school district, as well as for the nation.


Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States

The federal government’s official poverty measure, created in the 1960s, fails to illustrate the impact of programs designed to help families succeed. This KIDS COUNT data snapshot highlights the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which captures the effect of safety-net programs and tax policies on families. By using the SPM, researchers have determined that the childRead More

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Policy Updates


Alliance for Excellent Education Federal Flash on Education Policy

Watch this four minute June 19th Update from the Alliance for Excellent Education to quickly learn what’s happening with the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and federal education spending. 


Groundbreaking Bill to Address “School-to-Prison Pipeline” Passes Illinois Legislature

Voices of Youth in Chicago Education May 20, 2015 Legislative effort led by high school students takes aim at harsh and unjust school discipline practices. Update to previous post on this issue. CHICAGO – A bill passed today by the Illinois House of Representatives will require sweeping changes in the use of punitive school disciplineRead More


House Committee Approves Evidence-Based Commission

On May 19, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved legislation that would establish a Congressional commission to examine how evidence and data can assist in reviewing federal programs and tax expenditures. The legislation, called the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act, is sponsored by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Muray (D-WA). More informationRead More


Grassley, Reed Introduce Bill to Help Foster Youth Aging Out of the System

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island have introduced a bill to give states more flexibility to use federal funds to support foster youth aging out of the system. “A lot of good ideas come from the state level,” Grassley said.  “States ought to be encouraged to continueRead More



Watch the Alliance for Excellent Education’s May 8th Federal Flash for a run-down of negotiations on the Hill.

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YTFG Publications


Small Foundations, Big Wins: A Guide to Making Smart Choices About Grantmaking for Vulnerable Youth (2013)

This guide gives leaders of small foundations tried-and-true tools for building a strategic and effective grantmaking program. It also contains tips and examples to help you consider ways to leverage your investments. Download Publication


Eduployment: Creating Opportunity Policies for America’s Youth (2013)

This publication calls for “eduployment” to become our shared framework so that we equally value learning and work in the transition to adulthood.   This brief highlights the need to create a multi-sector infrastructure that refuses to let go of young people and to craft powerful opportunity policies that are proportional to the size of the crisis so thatRead More


Talking About Youth Transitions

Talking About Youth Transitions provides concrete tools to help you communicate about youth–transition issues in an effective and inclusive way.  This brief was produced by Fenton Communications at the request of YTFG. Different states and organizations will have different policy agendas based on where they are and the different opportunities available in those states. By using common languageRead More


Connected by 25: Effective Policy Solutions for Vulnerable Youth (2010)

In an effort to strengthen philanthropic investments among its membership, the Youth Transition Funders Group (YTF G) asked a group of policy experts to provide recommendations on how foundations can work to encourage effective policy solutions on issues affecting youth in transition to adulthood. 1  The primary challenge was to think beyond the systemic silos that so deeplyRead More


Connected by 25: High Leverage Strategies to Address America’s Dropout Crisis – A Guide for Funders (2009)

This guide is designed to help foundations identify investment opportunities that will have the greatest value in advancing efforts to increase graduation rates. There are many different approaches to increase the graduation rate, ranging from early learning opportunities to youth employment programs. Although members of YTFG make investments all along this continuum, our collaborative work has been toRead More

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