Helping young adults overcome barriers and reach their full potential
Opportunity Youth are defined as people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. While some might refer to these young people as “disconnected” or “at-risk”, there is a movement to change the narrative. These young people have enormous potential and represent a social and economic opportunity: all they need is a little support to help overcome some of the barriers they face.
There are millions of young Americans who meet the definition of Opportunity Youth. Many of them are eager to further their education, gain work experience and help their communities. Not investing in the future of these young people means millions of missed opportunities.
Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI)
Launched in 2013 through an AmeriCorps grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, The Corps Network’s Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI) is designed to provide education and conservation service experience to young people experiencing barriers (e.g. poverty, unemployment, past court involvement, physical or learning disability). During their term of service, OYSI Corpsmembers develop job skills, earn certifications, complete their high school requirements, and receive assistance in transitioning to postsecondary education or the workforce. Upon completion of their term of service, Corpsmembers receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.
Every year, OYSI engages hundreds of young adults across more than a dozen states.