Wednesday, February 01, 2012

JBJ: All In for Youth

Excerpted from The Huffington Post:

Going All in For All Youth
~ Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Kempner

This past summer, the two of us -- a musician and a PR executive -- set out on a listening tour, visiting with young people from Atlanta and New Orleans to Houston and back to our home state of New Jersey. We met with extraordinary young people, whose dedication to overcoming their circumstances was matched only by the passion and caring of the organizations who helped them along the way, offering, as a young woman in Newark told us, "comfort and community" and genuine belonging. We realized that our nation's greatest untapped natural resource is our next generation. These young men and women represent homegrown talent, ready, willing, and able to be a part of the future; they simply need the outlook, the outlet and the opportunity.

There are things each of us can do every day -- right now -- to help. Local businesses can provide paid or unpaid internships reserved specifically for disconnected youth in the community. Educators can work closely with community organizations in identifying students at-risk of disconnecting from education and employment while connecting them with preventive support. Community members can spend one or two hours a week mentoring.

We know this approach can work because we witnessed it during our listening tour happening across hundreds of effective organizations around the nation.

Visit the Huffington Post to read the whole essay.

~ Hath


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