For many, Greater Grand Rapids is a land of opportunity, rich with education and income opportunities. For others, it is a barren desert, devoid of any real paths toward self-sufficiency.
While young people in affluent sectors of Greater Grand Rapids find pathways to adult success through their suburban schools, their parents, their relatives, and their church and family networks, youth in other neighborhoods trying to work their way forward find none of the same routes open to them. Instead, even those with high school degrees often find themselves at the crossroads of education and employment without sufficient access, information or opportunity to move forward in either direction.
Yet the youth at the crossroads represent just as much talent and potential for the future workforce as their better-situated peers. They want to learn skills, work hard, and contribute to an employer’s bottom line. They want to build competencies, demonstrate value, and grow in their careers. They want desperately to contribute to the future of their community. They want desperately to fulfill their purpose in the world.
It’s time for the Greater Grand Rapids community to #ImagineMore: for our youth, for our employers, and for our shared future prosperity.