Wilda Wong, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, San Diego Workforce Partnership
On May 2nd, over 850 young adults and allies came together to help change the youth experience in the San Diego region during the 2019 Opportunity Summit put on by San Diego Workforce Partnership. Attendees gathered to hear from young adults and experts on topics affecting opportunity youth—those ages 16–24 who are currently not working or in school. The Summit is a continuation of the OpportunitySD movement to increase connection to educational and employment opportunities for young adults in San Diego County as they transition from high school into the workforce.
An expert lineup of speakers (including young adults) helped attendees better understand the issues impacting opportunity youth and gave clear direction on how, collectively and as individuals, we can invest in opportunity and make a difference in the lives of young adults. Speakers included representatives from 2-1-1- San Diego, Cajon Valley Union School District, San Diego Unified School District, DETOUR, RISE San Diego and others.
Topics included youth leadership, homelessness, mentorships, empowerment and reducing barriers to opportunities.
Learn more about some of the programs and topics that were highlighted below:
“Youth disconnection” is a term often used to describe these young adults, and although partially accurate since the focus is on youth neither working nor in school, the preferred term is “opportunity youth” since it conveys the immense potential these 37,000 youth have in our region.
“Today’s young adults are perhaps the most highly connected generation in history via technology, even if they struggle with formal systems,” said Deme Hill of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless in San Diego. “The OpportunitySD challenge is to harness their voices, energy and talents as we transform these systems to better meet their needs.”
OpportunitySD Leadership Council member Desjonae Hixon summed up the event nicely:
“We are all here on a journey of learning. Learning to support ourselves and our families. Learning skills that are valued in our economy…while also learning how the systems work and don’t work for us.”
This article originally appeared on San Diego Workforce Partnership website. To read the full article, please visit: https://workforce.org/news/big-takeaways-from-opportunity-summit-2019/