Helping Low-Income Urban Youth Make the Transition to Early Adulthood: A Retrospective Study of the YMCA Youth Institute
Young adulthood, typically defined as between the ages of 18 and 25, is a critical period of growth during which young people acquire the education and training that serve as the basis for their later occupations and income (Arnett, 2000). The successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood requires youth to have the skills and resources to graduate high school and then go to college or enter the workforce (Fuligni & Hardway, 2004; Lippman, Atienza, Rivers, & Keith, 2008). To accomplish these tasks in advanced urban societies, young adults need a wide range of social, cognitive, psychological, and technological skills and supports: academic and critical thinking skills, a sense of purpose or a vision or plan for the future, social and interpersonal competence, knowledge of how to access college and financial resources, social support and capital including mentors who emphasize the need for college and workforce skills, civic engagement, and workforce and technology skills (Hamilton & Hamilton, 2009; Lippman et al., 2008; Warschauer & Matuchniak, 2010).
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