HIGH STAKES HIGH REWARD
It cannot be overstated how consequential the years between ages 16 and 25 are in a person’s life. Young people who come from the range of resources private wealth encompasses can focus on themselves and their development with relative ease and success. That is how the current system is designed. They have funds to cover their basic living needs (for example: housing, food, transportation, healthcare, dependent care). They have resources to fund their education or training. They have the luxury that their stress is primarily related to performance in their classes versus making sure they or their family can pay their rent. It simply is a different experience and for no fair reason.
This dynamic leads us to a critical existential question:
Do we think that is okay?
Do we really want to substantively attack poverty and inequity?
Do we believe that all young people have the potential and promise to contribute to our communities, and do we want them to have the opportunity to fully realize it?
If the answer is that the current system and outcomes are not okay, then we need to invest holistically, sufficiently, and with enthusiasm in the conditions for young adult financial well-being and ensure all young people have access to all of them in a seamless, simple, and effective way. Practically, the solutions are known and ready for the taking – what is needed is leadership and collaboration across philanthropy to invest courageously in youth and young adults. Read the brief to learn about funder recommendations for philanthropy and policy solutions.