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Partner Spotlight: American Youth Policy Forum

October 19th, 2016

We are happy to share our October partner spotlight, with Carinne Deeds with American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF). Learn more about the current mission of AYPF, as well as their current work making sure the nation's youth are properly represented in America's policy efforts.  In addition, Carrine shares upcoming AYPF webinars as well as how their work connects to the work of community schools. 


1. Can you explain the overall mission of the American Youth Policy Forum? 
AYPF is a non-partisan education and youth policy convener. Through our forums, discussion groups, study tours, and digital content, our mission is to bring policymakers, practitioners, and researchers together to generate dialogue and action around important youth issues, particularly vulnerable youth. Our mission is to put a spotlight on the best education and youth research available in order to better inform youth policy.
2. What milestones has American Youth Policy Forum already reached or is currently moving towards?
AYPF does not measure its progress in milestones, rather looks to see if and how the education and youth sectors across policy, practice, and research are considering the needs of the older, vulnerable youth population.  We are pleased to see sustained momentum around the national conversation regarding Opportunity Youth as well as the recognition of many special populations in the recently passed Every Students Succeeds Act.  Although AYPF is about to celebrate our 25th anniversary, our work remains critical and relevant across research, policy, and practice.
3. How do the American Youth Policy Forums principles tie into the Community School’s principles and philosophy? How do you see your work fitting into ours? 
AYPF places a high value not only on student academic success, but also on a strong commitment to social and emotional development, workforce readiness, and community/civic engagement. Like the Coalition for Community Schools, AYPF recognizes that supportive relationships between schools, parents, and communities are critical to giving youth the environment and skills they need in order to be successful.
4. What are some exciting things coming up for American Youth Policy Forum (i.e., events, publications)?  

On November 30th, 2016 AYPF will produce a webinar, "Bringing Social and Emotional Learning to the Forefront: What Happens When Districts Prioritize SEL?" To stay up to date on AYPF events and publications, you can sign up for our email newsletter, and be sure to check out AYPF’s blog, Forum for Thought, for weekly posts by AYPF staff and guest bloggers.

5. How does The American Youth Policy Forum center equity in their agenda?  
Since our founding in 1993, AYPF’s focus has been on our country’s "Forgotten Half." Our work has been focused on improving the lives of all youth, with a specific focus on our disconnected youth who are not in school and not working. Specifically, AYPF’s mission puts equity at the forefront of our work by highlighting issues of importance to foster care youth, first-generation and low-income students, disadvantaged populations, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system. 

6. Finally, what is the most exciting thing about working at the American Youth Policy Forum?
The most exciting thing about working at AYPF is helping important issues bubble to the surface, to see policymakers, teachers, and researchers all coming together in the same room to move forward and help improve the lives of youth. Our events allow stakeholders to see the policy in action, to hear from the most informed researchers, and to move forward on policies that are informed by evidence. 
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