The Schultz Family Foundation works to support “Opportunity Youth” — the millions of young people (16-24yrs old) who have experienced disconnection from education or the labor market, due largely to broken support systems and lack of the right sort of opportunities. For real change to occur, they saw the need to bring the many disparate organizations together to create a more unified messaging around unlocking the potential of this key demographic.
NationSwell studio worked closely with the foundation for over 18 months to bring together leaders focused on the opportunity gap in America to develop shared strategy and language around Opportunity Youth. This unified messaging handbook, informed by a collection of stakeholders and beneficiaries, provided the blueprint for engaging priority audiences including employers, partners, young people, and government officials.
The challenge was not simply to articulate what was being said, but to shift people’s perception of the issue — shining a light on the responsibility of employers to offer “smart first jobs” that are a platform for growth, and on the valuable characteristics like resilience that many of these young people share due to their lived experiences.
To empower the Foundation team to engage wider audiences with the issue and the opportunity for change, the team created two compelling video portraits: showcasing the stories of two very different young people in different parts of the country and the innovative employers who created pathways for them and others to thrive.
Furthermore, NationSwell provided the platform for the foundation as well as their grantees to engage with like minded solutions-forward leaders through a spotlight speaking opportunity at our annual Summit and through working group cohorts within our Build it Back Better Initiative.