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America's Promise Alliance;
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth unemployment has spiked dramatically, and the ensuing economic fallout has widened the longstanding employment gap between young people and the rest of the working population. To better understand young people's experiences navigating these challenges, the Center for Promise at America's Promise Alliance surveyed more than 3,500 people aged 16-24 about their professional journeys over the past year. This report outlines major findings from the study related to young people's experiences navigating the world of work during this complex time, the ways in which COVID-19 has affected their work experiences, and the role that racism and discrimination have played in their career trajectories. The report also includes several implications for policy and practice as the nation begins a collective effort toward economic recovery.
American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists;
The tobacco industry has a long history of developing cigarette brands and marketing campaigns that target women and girls, with devastating consequences for women's health. The industry's deliberate and aggressive targeting of women and girls spans a century, utilizing themes of beauty, fashion, freedom and sophistication – and often playing into sexist tropes – while ignoring or downplaying that tobacco use causes serious health harms at all stages of a woman's life.Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person's overall health. More than 16 million women and girls in the United States currently smoke, putting them at risk for the serious and deadly diseases caused by smoking. Over 200,000 women die in the U.S. every year due to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, youth e-cigarette use has skyrocketed to what the U.S. Surgeon General and the Food and Drug Administration have called "epidemic" levels, with nearly 1 in 5 high school girls now using e-cigarettes.This report details the tobacco industry's history of predatory marketing, which has lured and addicted millions of women and girls to tobacco products, and the resulting harmful consequences for women's health that occur over their lifespans. This report demonstrates that strong action is needed now to protect women's health and save lives, and offers proven solutions to prevent young girls from starting to smoke or vape and help all women quit.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
The popular belief that the youth have not contributed much to national development in pre- and post-colonial Africa is grossly erroneous. As study has revealed that low level of active youth leadership on the continent is not due to lack of interest and effort on their part, but more because of the hostile political, economic and social environment, rigid structural barriers to youth mobility in politics and the economy in many West African countries. 'Harmful' cultural practices that require young people to defer to older ones make it hard for the youth to 'liberate' themselves (Sesay, 2014). Young people have also not been able to successfully organise themselves into workable pressure groups to effect positive political and economic change in their favour (Sesay, 2014).There is a direct link between the plight of Africa's youth and the prevailing governance systems on the continent. It is essential to convince the old political class that youth empowerment and inclusion in governance processes is a sine qua non for overall national development, peace, and security. The demographic picture of youth makes it patently evident that engaging youth fully in development is not a matter of choice, but rather an imperative for national development. In not-so straightforward circumstances of political leadership as has been observed in Africa, only some form of affirmative action can take us anywhere close to achieving democratic equity for the youth in matters of political leadership on the continent. Given the way power is exercised, the power to change these cultural contexts considerably rely on head of states who in a snap of their fingers could change the deal if they had the will; and the king-makers and advisers of both the former and the latter, who often are more influential than the head of states themselves.Equally, as today's old generation was yesterday's youth, it is imperative for young people to not become different as they grow older. Especially, as they experience the realities of power, they are encouraged not to become corrupt themselves and maintain integrity in order not to perpetuate the cycle. The youth must always remember Annan's saying: "you are never too young to lead, and you should never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not."
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Are young people truly in a "waiting period"? As they turn into liabilities only when not recognised as assets, and become problems to solve only when not seen as solutions, does the youth realise that they matter now more than ever?The problem with youth representation in governance is not just generational but also ideational, as the reality of weak institutions has a prevalence on the question of age. They are no longer driven by idealism but rather by materialism and opportunism. How can these youth be the agents of change when themselves require to be changed? In the following lines, factors favoring youth involvement in civil society in the region will be presented, whilst emphasising solutions by sector, notably through the academia, the private sector, the government and most importantly, the civil society itself.Ultimately, innovation will be discussed as a tool to leverage in the political arena. It is noteworthy to stress that West Africa's large youth population can either spur innovation, creativity, and enterprise – or fuel instability and violence, as they face poverty, barriers to education, multiple forms of discrimination and limited employment prospects and opportunities. How policies, structures and processes are implemented in this regard will determine the prospects for current and future generations and economies.
Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy;
In the rapidly changing news ecosystems of emerging economies, news outlets are struggling to remain relevant and build loyal relationships with youth audiences (18 to 35 years old). As youth populations continue to grow in low-and-middle income countries, it is critical for independent media organizations to understand and respond to the changing news habits of younger generations. A snapshot of youth news consumption habits in Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Thailand highlights that the predominance of smartphones, and increasing access to the internet and social media, is fundamentally altering how youth access, interact with, and value independent news.Youth audiences tend to access news through their smartphone, relying more on social media algorithms and news aggregators than loyalty to particular news brands.Youth generally do not feel that the traditional, mainstream news media reports on issues that are important to them, preferring to access a wider variety of news alongside other kinds of information and entertainment.Despite relying on social media for news, youth are wary about whether the information they see on the internet is true. There is a tension between the convenience social media provides for accessing news and its propensity to amplify misinformation and increase political polarization.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry;
ObjectiveThe behavioral and emotional profiles underlying adolescent self-harm, and its developmental risk factors, are relatively unknown. We aimed to identify subgroups of young people who self-harm (YPSH) and longitudinal risk factors leading to self-harm.MethodParticipants were from the Millennium Cohort Study (n = 10,827). A clustering algorithm was used to identify subgroups who self-harmed with different behavioral and emotional profiles at age 14 years. We then traced the profiles back in time (ages 5−14 years) and used feature selection analyses to identify concurrent correlates and longitudinal risk factors of self-harming behavior.ResultsThere were 2 distinct subgroups at age 14 years: a smaller group (n = 379) who reported a long history of psychopathology, and a second, much larger group (n = 905) without. Notably, both groups could be predicted almost a decade before the reported self-harm. They were similarly characterized by sleep problems and low self-esteem, but there was developmental differentiation. From an early age, the first group had poorer emotion regulation, were bullied, and their caregivers faced emotional challenges. The second group showed less consistency in early childhood, but later reported more willingness to take risks and less security with peers/family.ConclusionOur results uncover 2 distinct pathways to self-harm: a "psychopathology" pathway, associated with early and persistent emotional difficulties and bullying; and an "adolescent risky behavior" pathway, whereby risk taking and external challenges emerge later into adolescence and are associated with self-harm. At least 1 of these pathways has a long developmental history, providing an extended window for interventions as well as potential improvements in the identification of children at risk, biopsychosocial causes, and treatment or prevention of self-harm.
The Youth Think Tank is a research group made up of young people from the Foundation's networks. In partnership with Restless Development, it trains and mentors young people to conduct research, collect evidence, and document youth needs, challenges, and aspirations. In 2020 the Youth Think Tank developed research asking the question "how can development practitioners, policymakers, and academics better support small-scale entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and create employment opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa?" Key Findings Young people can be a part of the solution to the employment challenge when supported to do so. With support, young entrepreneurs can better understand their markets before seeking business opportunities. Young entrepreneurs can grow their businesses by building their competitive advantage. Young entrepreneurs need access to tailored skill-building opportunities and financial capital from trusted sources to grow their businesses.Young entrepreneurs are building their resilience to COVID-19 and adapting their businesses to the 'new normal'.
To bolster census education and outreach efforts to families with young children in LA County, a group of 8 funders joined forces and pooled nearly $1 million to create the Early Childhood Census 2020 Fund (ECCF) in the summer of 2019. Although a commitment to census outreach efforts and investment was underway at a broader state and county level, ECCF drew attention to the need to have a separate, more concerted approach to focusing on the hardest-to-count population. 12 organizations received ECCF grants. These organizations ranged in size, population served, geography, and services in healthcare, education, social services, faith-based, and community organizing. ECCF's target population and the implementation of peer learning sessions aimed to foster connections and strengthen relationships across grantees. Two virtual learning sessions created space for grantees to share strategies for reaching families with young children, ask questions, and discuss challenges. The following summary provides key highlights from an evaluation of ECCF conducted by Engage R+D. Learnings from this evaluation are based on interviews with the grantees and managing funders as well the review of grant reports and observations of funder meetings.
Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World;
Despite a recent call for an expanded research agenda that is more likely to produce tangible societal reductions in inequality, efforts to articulate how social scientists can actually pursue this agenda remain few and far between. The central question this article addresses is, What can social scientists do to deliver the forms of knowledge that may lead to a reduction of social inequalities in youth outcomes and opportunities at large scale? Drawing on conceptualizations of inequality that pay attention to mechanisms of distributional and relational inequality, and examples of initiatives from a diverse array of the social sciences, the authors delineate six pathways for the kind of research that may generate reductions in youth inequality at scale. The authors conclude with a set of proposals for what academic institutions can do to train and support researchers to carry out this research agenda.
William T. Grant Foundation;
William T. Grant Foundation's most recent annual report compiles lists of all active grants, provides an overview of the Foundation's assets and spending, and includes letters from the President and Board Chair.
Annie E. Casey Foundation;
The 32nd edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before — and during — the coronavirus pandemic.This year's publication continues to deliver the Foundation's annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. It identifies multiyear trends — comparing statistics from 2010 to 2019. In addition, the report shares data on how families endured throughout the pandemic.
Research suggests more students have experienced more unfinished learning over the last year than ever before. With the COVID-19 pandemic waning, school systems are facing a critical choice about how to respond. Should they use the traditional approach of reviewing all the content students missed, known as remediation? Or should they start with the current grade's content and provide "just-in-time" supports when necessary, known as learning acceleration?New data from Zearn, a nonprofit organization whose online math platform is used by one in four elementary students nationwide, provides one of the first direct comparisons of these two approaches—and compelling new evidence that school systems should make learning acceleration the foundation of their academic strategies next year and beyond.