The summer “opportunity gap” contributes to gaps in achievement, employment, and college and career success, particularly for low-income students. Studies also show that providing summer opportunities help divert youth from criminal involvement and reduce violence. To meet this challenge, state and local leaders, community-based organizations, private sector and philanthropic leaders, schools and other youth-serving agencies are coming together to create a set of supports that enable strong transitions from school year to school year and from high school to college and careers.
In recognition of the innovative and effective summer jobs, learning, and meals partnerships in cities, towns and counties, the White House and the National Summer Learning Association will convene a Champions of Change
event to highlight leaders who are turning summer from a time of loss into a time of great gain. The White House is asking local governments to help identify and honor individuals who are dedicating their time, talent and resources to strengthen and expand summer learning, meals and jobs opportunities for young people.
A summer opportunity workshop will be held in addition to honoring Champions of Change in summer opportunity. People from around the country will hear what’s working, learn about new resources, share best practices, and meet new partners.
Under President Obama’s leadership, opportunities for more enriching summers have grown significantly. Summer opportunities have expanded through the My Brother’s Keeper
Initiative; the AmeriCorps program, which provides critical staffing for summer programs across the country; the growth of the USDA Summer Meal Programs, which leverages community sponsors to provide meals to all children and teens in eligible areas across the country; and the new vision for summer school and expanded models for summer jobs, which serves more youth and provides onramps to career pathways, spurred by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Please submit nominations by 5 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 21. Nominees may include the following types of individuals who are investing in, operating or advocating for high-quality summer learning, meals and jobs opportunities:
- School leaders
- Nonprofit leaders
- Program directors
- Private Sector Leaders
- Philanthropic Partners
- Faith Based Leaders
- State &Municipal leaders
- Civic Technologists
- Student Leaders