That declaration from former White House domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes was one of many that energized 300 leaders from around the country who gathered in Atlanta this week for the second annual Ready by 21 National Meeting.
National, state and local leaders committed to improving the odds for young people shared experiences and got the latest information about building effective collective impact partnerships, using better data to drive decision making, improving program quality, aligning public policies, and more. They heard from people like:
Lisa Hamilton of the Annie E. Casey Foundation: "We need to find solutions from what's already working."
Melody Barnes: "This is our market-making moment" for the cause of opportunity youth.
Milton J. Little of the United Way of Greater Atlanta: "We look at the Ready by 21 framework as a lynchpin."
Sharon Adams-Taylor of the American Association of School Administrators: "We need a better definition of what readiness really means."
Jairus Cater, a young person who told a luncheon audience, "Being ready means having people in your life who care about you so you can do more and be more."
See photos here; see presentation materials here; and look for more about the National Meeting discussions in next week's Ready News.