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October 24, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Solving the problem of disconnected youth

At least 7 percent of the District’s youth aren’t in school or working. These “disconnected” youth face the very real prospect of life-long disadvantage. How do we reconnect them and prevent others from disconnecting? A new report from the D.C. Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) drills into data and suggests a number of solutions:

1. Drastically improve the quality and accessibility of “front door” information and services available to young people
2. Expand the capacity of high quality, “non-traditional” educational and training sector programs
3. Improve data sharing between systems that young people disconnect from and programs currently serving disconnected youth
4. Support efforts that focus on long-term engagement and success
5. Establish formal mechanisms to solicit the opinions of youth
6. Create a comprehensive system of disconnected youth service provision

The report was supported by The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the United Way of the National Capital Area, and Raise DC.

Related: DCAYA also created a series of blog posts and videos on the topic.

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Last week, the MacArthur Foundation’s Robert Gallucci authored a provocative piece about philanthropy’s role in fixing the government. In today’s Chronicle of Philanthropy, Gary Bass and Patricia Bauman of the Bauman Foundation continue that push. One of their perspectives is that philanthropy must help shift public perception about the role of government (Chronicle, 10/24):

No matter how much the nation does to make structural changes, unless we deal with the broader underlying feelings about the role of government, we will continue to have manufactured crises like this last budget breakdown. Certainly in the aftermath of this recent government shutdown, it is easier to identify the government’s importance. However, we all know memories fade.

This is where philanthropy can play a pivotal role through our grant making, our power to gather people from disparate parts of every community, and our collective voice.

WRAG’s president, Tamara Copeland, notes that the drive for philanthropy to engage in democracy improvement is critical:

Last week, I pointed out that philanthropy cannot replace government. Philanthropy can, however, play a major role in fixing government. It is this type of thinking that WRAG wanted to encourage when we made the decision to focus this year’s annual meeting on “philanthropy unsettled.” Funding efforts to enable an engaged democracy may not be a traditional issue that philanthropy has typically supported. But perhaps it is a space in which philanthropy’s dollars would be well spent.

Related plug: Since we’re on the subject, we hope you’ll join us for Philanthropy Unsettled next month! You can find more info here.

HEALTH | One of the main components of the Affordable Care Act is that Americans will be required to either purchase healthcare or pay a penalty. But the timing outlined in the law is really confusing, so the Obama Administration announced an extension. Now, healthcare must be purchased by March 31st, 2014. (WaPo, 10/24)

Between legal confusion and infrastructure problems, it seems like the government might have a tough time identifying and penalizing individuals who don’t want to buy insurance.

FOOD | Today is the 3rd annual Food Day, a nationwide event aimed at celebrating and promoting healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. The number of educational (and recreational) events held in the Greater Washington region has grown since the event’s inception. On Tuesday, the Post’s Going Out Guide offered their picks for the week. In tomorrow’s Daily, we’ll report on how a group of our funders marked the event earlier in the week.

LOCAL | On Income Growth, D.C. Comes in at…No. 17 (CP, 10/24)


Man, I’m tired today. This is what I felt like when the alarm went off this morning. I said “felt,” not “looked!” Sheesh.

Anyway, now I’m awake and my noggin is operating near full capacity, so I’m able to think about zero gravity. It seems like an easy enough concept to understand. But here’s a neat video that might give you an unexpected perspective. An astronaut uses a single strand of her hair to move around the International Space Station! That’s all it takes!

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