mPremium content.
registered users Learn more

What is Ready by 21?

What is Ready by 21?

Ready by 21® is a set of innovative strategies developed by the Forum for Youth Investment that helps communities improve the odds that all children and youth will be ready for college, work and life.


Readiness is the ability of a young person to meet life's responsibilities in any stage or setting.

The Challenge

In communities around the country, leaders are developing approaches to reach the goal of having all youth ready. Still, far too few youth in America are ready, too few communities are providing youth enough quality supports, and too many leaders are not working together effectively.

The Approach
Ready by 21 provides clear standards to achieve collective impact, tools and solutions to help leaders make progress, and ways to measure and track success along the way.  Specifically, Ready by 21 helps leaders:

The Partners
The Forum and the Ready by 21 National Partners – national organizations from the fields of education, government, nonprofits, business, research and philanthropy – are committed to helping communities carry out Ready by 21 strategies.  The Partners provide tools, training and technical assistance to increase the collective impact of community and state efforts.

Combined, the National Partners reach over 650,000 state and local leaders who impact the lives of more than 100 million children and youth across the United States.

Our Theory of Change
It can take years to improve child and youth outcomes on a large scale. But leaders can quickly make demonstrable changes in their capacity, creating the shared accountability needed to chart and stay the course to improve the odds for children and youth. Ready by 21 focuses on building this leadership capacity in states and communities.

Getting Leaders Ready
Ready by 21 offers leaders clear standards, a range of solutions for increasing capacity, expert facilitation and technical services, and ongoing coaching and networking supports to help them make sure all young people are ready for college, work and life.

Getting Communities Ready
Ready by 21 helps leaders wrap coordinated, high-quality family and community supports as well as basic services around the traditional education pipeline, focusing attention on the whole child.

Getting Youth Ready
Ready by 21 recognizes that for youth to be ready for college, work and life, they need to be fully prepared and fully engaged – academically, socially and physically.