Social-Emotional Learning

It is not enough to equip young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment and opportunity, with technical skills. To set them on a path to healthy, productive futures it is critical to integrate non-cognitive skills such as grit, persistence, empathy, and good decision-making (skills collectively known as social-emotional skills) into second chance, job-readiness, vocational training and other programs serving opportunity youth.

The following resources demonstrate how organizations from around the world are integrating social-emotional learning into their youth reconnection efforts and highlight how these strategies can transform the lives of youth participants and communities.

In Brazil, A Whole-Person Approach to Job Readiness and Healing

On an overcast morning, roughly two-dozen young and older adults file into a large whitewashed room at the municipal homeless shelter in the Barra Funda neighborhood of São Paulo, Brazil.

In Tijuana, Mexico, Youth Help Youth Bridge the Opportunity Gap

In a sun-drenched room at the Ricardo Flores Magón Community Center on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, 16 young men and women set out to imagine their futures.

Can Youth Voices Improve Foster Care Outcomes? Lessons from the UK

In the United States, 26,000 youth age out of foster care annually. More than a third never completed high school, with most ill-prepared for the job market. As a result, many wind up on the streets or in jail. A similar scenario prevails in the United Kingdom where over 40 percent of former foster youth are not in education, training, or employment.

A Nonprofit Leader from New Orleans Reflects on the Benefits of Cross-border Learning

From July 9 to 12, representatives of the New Orleans-based Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) traveled to Belo Horizonte, Brazil to take part in a learning exchange with staff and beneficiaries of Rede Cidadã (The Citizen’s Network), a nongovernm