Aspire for Opportunity Youth
The Aspire assessment tool has been adapted for use with opportunity youth. Opportunity youth are individuals ages 16-24 who are not currently in school or working.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of opportunity youth in North Carolina, making more youth vulnerable to negative life outcomes. Opportunity youth are more at risk than their peers for experiencing homelessness, poverty, food insecurity, and living in an institutional setting.
Aspire can be used by organizations who serve opportunity youth to help identify barriers they are facing as well as their strengths. The tool can also enable service providers to help youth create plans using their Life Maps to support long-term educational and career success.
Aspire for Opportunity Youth contains 46 indicators related to aspects of youth health and well-being. The assessment questions, pictures, and wording have been modified for participants who are youth and young adults. Indicators have been added to assess job application and interview readiness along with educational attainment.
After completing the Aspire assessment, youth participants set goals for themselves based on their priorities and needs. With the support of trained Aspire coaches and connection to community resources, participants work towards achieving their goals to improve their situations.
About Carolina Across 100
Aspire for Opportunity Youth was developed in partnership with Carolina Across 100's Our State, Our Work community teams and with input from youth and young adults in North Carolina. Carolina Across 100 is an effort led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that partners with all 100 counties across North Carolina to support cross-sector collaborations addressing current needs. Aspire partnered with Carolina Across 100's Our State, Our Work initiative with a goal to connect youth to their communities, educational institutions, and employment.
Using Aspire in Youth-Serving Organizations
Aspire for Opportunity Youth is a valuable tool for organizations who work with teens and young adults. Aspire provides a self-assessment survey that is engaging, technology-based, and easy to use. Developed with input from youth, the pictures in the Aspire survey reflect the lives of young people and the questions are relevant to their concerns.
If you are interested in learning more about Aspire for Opportunity Youth or discussing how it might fit with your organization, please contact the Community Aspirations Hub!