Twin Cities OYN

The Opportunity Youth Network

Addressing longstanding youth inequities requires multi-faceted work among dynamic organizations and young leaders. We are forging bold relationships in a new network of leaders to build collective power. The Opportunity Youth Network mirrors Youthprise’s commitment to shared power. Our network goals are co-designed with young people who drive the work to transform policy, power structure, narrative, and resource allocation.

Our Why
How We Do It?
Members
Join Us!

Our Why

Young people are cut out of systems that align with what they need. They are disconnected from school and work because adult-designed systems often operate without youth voice, and there are barriers that prevent them from accessing these systems. We are missing out on the brilliance, potential and power of many young people. We believe that when young people lean into their power it transforms their lives and billows possibilities in our community. We envision a world where all youth are equipped to design their lives and to thrive.

How We Do It

The Opportunity Youth Network is a membership-based, collective impact, coalition. OYN members are already embedded in the work of supporting young people through their organizational focus across all sectors in the community. As members of the network, they join a values-aligned collaborative of other organizations, stakeholders, policy-makers and youth, who use data to achieve population-level results for young people. 

We use the plan-do-act rapid cycle of improvement to identify barriers, galvanize resources, and lean into our collective power to create real change. What sets the OYN apart from other networks and groups is:

  • Youth voice
  • Data cycle and design thinking
  • Membership model

Members

OYN is made up of youth, direct service providers, community stakeholders, policymakers, and other coalition members who show up because they prioritize solutions for traditionally marginalized youth, ages 15-25. OYN members know that alone, they don’t have the time, capacity, or power needed to illuminate problems, solutions, and a level of strategic clarity beyond their own universe. Collectively, OYN can impact broad systems to create population-level change.

Our members serve in the following ways:

  • Steering Committee:  Executive Leadership of Community Orgs and Youth Leaders meet to set the strategic direction, review data, and make decisions about the selection of sprints.
  • Youth Summits:  Existing Youth Leadership Boards at member organizations come together to have intersectional space to discuss multi-dimensional concerns and opportunities.  
  • Standing Committees: Member groups and youth join these standing committees to work towards long range goals for more seamless service delivery and barrier removal.
  • Youth Career Pathways:  This intersectional space enables systems to work together to support youth centered visions, braiding workforce and education, K12 with postsecondary, and ensuring that the system is working to have adults do the navigation for youth to benefit. (maybe- ensuring the system changes, allows youth to benefit, and navigation in the system is smoother.) 
  • Healing Centered System Change:  As issues bubble up, the committee will prioritize systems change that will understand how trauma is coded into our current systems and imagine a new way forward.
  • Data to Lead Program & Systems Change:  Coordinate member program data to assess the success members are having, opportunities for growth, and assess the percentage of total population we are serving.  
  • Innovation Sprints:  Multi-partner sprints that use data to design a small test of change using the rapid improvement cycle.

Current members of the Opportunity Youth Network include:

 

Join Us!

We invite Twin Cities area youth leaders and nonprofit leaders who work with and for youth, to consider whether joining the Opportunity Youth Network may be right for you or your organization. By becoming a member, you are joining a powerful group of catalysts for change who agree to these driving values:

  • Prioritize opportunity youth 
  • Power young people to lead
  • Organize at the grassroots and grasstops levels
  • Drive solutions
  • Seek joy and optimism in our work

How to join?

By joining, you’re making a commitment to young people in our community, and you agree to:

  • Show up to quarterly meetings
  • Send appropriate level staff to committees/innovation cycles as decided by your organization leader.
  • Share population-level data from the organization you represent

How to Apply!

CLICK HERE. The OYN steering committee will admit members based on an assessment of interest, fit, and commitment from the applicant.

For more specific questions, please reach out to or .

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