Young Invincibles’ Statement on the President’s 2017 Budget


February 9, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org202-734-6510

Young Invincibles’ Statement on the President’s Budget

[WASHINGTON]—The White House released the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget this morning, which feature a number of proposals that  affect young adults’ access to health care, higher education, and economic security.

Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, issued the following statement on a few of its provisions:

“We are encouraged that the Administration has made addressing the economic challenges facing our generation a priority. Proposals to close the medicaid coverage gap and reform our higher education and training systems will help expand opportunity for young people across the country.

In particular, we support the inclusion of a number of provisions that will equip our generation with the skills needed to excel in the 21st century economy. This includes a five percent increase in funding for implementing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as well as $2 billion to support the expansion of apprenticeship programs over the next five years. In addition, we support the Administration’s inclusion of year-round Pell funding in their budget for the first time in several years; the proposal to streamline existing income-based repayment plans to make student loan repayment easier for borrowers to navigate; the call for revising the 90/10 rule down to 85/15; and closing the GI Bill loophole to ensure that deceptive for-profit actors are held accountable. Finally, the President’s proposal to extend Medicaid funding for states choosing to expand is critical for young people struggling to get health care coverage. This budget is a positive step forward for Millennials and Young Invincibles looks forward to continuing to advocate for these issues and others in the coming year.”

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YI Launches Campaign to Fix Higher Ed to Elevate Students’ Interests in HEA Reauthorization Fight

January 28, 2015

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202.734.6510

Young Invincibles, Student Debt Activists Launch Campaign to Fix Higher Ed at National Student Debt Day Event

[WASHINGTON]–Today, Young Invincibles will be kicking off a new initiative, the Campaign to Fix Higher Ed: Increasing Quality & Reducing Student Debt, to elevate students’ interests in the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization process. The campaign launch will take place at Young Invincibles’ National Student Debt Day event, which will convene and train roughly 75 activists from around the country to learn more about student debt and higher education policy and how they can make their voices heard in the HEA reauthorization process. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will deliver the keynote address at the event.

“Higher education provides a critical pathway to financial security, but too often students leave school with burdensome debt levels, with no degree, or without the skills they need to succeed,” said Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles. “Fixing higher education so that it works for all students must be a national priority, and we can only fix the system by putting students first and listening to this generation. That’s why over the next year, Young Invincibles will be working with grassroots activists across the country to hold members of Congress, schools, and states accountable for taking action and fixing our system of higher education.”

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NEW POLL: Millennials Identify Student Debt, Retirement Savings as Barriers to Entrepreneurship


January 27, 2016

Cassie Mills | Communications Manager, Small Business Majority
(202) 289-0957 |

Colin Seeberger| Strategic Campaigns Adviser, Young Invincibles
(202) 289-2913 |

Scientific Opinion Poll: Millennials Identify Student Debt, Retirement Savings as Barriers to Entrepreneurship

Majority of millennials currently own or would like to own a business someday; identify student loan payments and lack of an employer-sponsored retirement plan as barriers to launching or growing a business

Washington, DC—A scientific opinion poll released today shows the majority of millennials (ages 18-34) who own a business or would like to start one at some point say student debt and lack of a retirement savings plan are barriers to entrepreneurship.

The poll, conducted Nov. 18-25, 2015, by North Star Opinion Research on behalf of Young Invincibles and Small Business Majority, found that the majority of millennials (51 percent) either own a business or organization, are planning to start a business, or would like to but do not currently have plans to do so.

When it comes to starting a business, millennials identify student debt and lack of an employer-sponsored retirement plan as financial barriers to entrepreneurship. Nearly half (48 percent) of millennials paying off student debt who currently own or have plans to own a business say their student loan payments have impacted their ability to start a business. And nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) millennials who are interested in opening a business but have no current plans to do so say their student loan payments affect their ability to start a business.

“Right now, I cover upfront necessities for my business, like insurance and marketing materials, out of my own pocket,” said Amanda Golden, co-owner of Designing Local in Columbus, Ohio. “My loans are currently deferred, but as soon as they’re back on the table, using my own money to cover these costs will be out of the question. Student loans are really a burden that restrain my ability to run my own business. Millennials deserve a fighting chance to start small businesses, but student loans are holding us back.”

Additionally, of those who are still paying off student loans, 43 percent of those who own or have current plans to own a business, and 38 percent who would like to own a business but have no current business plans, say their student debt affects their ability to invest in an organization or hire new employees.

What’s more, three-quarters (75 percent) of millennials who own, plan to own, or would like to own a business say the lack of an employer-sponsored retirement plan is a barrier to entrepreneurship.

“Millennials show exciting levels of interest in entrepreneurship, yet youth entrepreneurship remains comparatively low,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Deputy Director of Young Invincibles. “This poll makes clear that millennials see student debt as a barrier as they explore a pathway to building their own businesses.”

“Entrepreneurship represents the pathway to success for many millennials, but they face significant hurdles to launching and growing their businesses,” said Conan Knoll, Vice President, Entrepreneurship, for Small Business Majority. “As this poll shows, student debt and lack of a retirement savings plan are a real problem for millennial entrepreneurs. Considering the majority of millennials are or would like to become entrepreneurs, it’s important to address these issues that are holding young Americans back from launching their businesses and helping our economy thrive.”

For the full poll report, please click here.


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Young Invincibles, Enroll America Host More Than 100 Events During National Youth Enrollment Day 2016

January 21, 2016


Nina Smith,, 301-717-9006

Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

Young Invincibles, Enroll America Host More Than 100 Events During National Youth Enrollment Day 2016

 YMCA, among other coalition partners, hold enrollment events from the nation’s capital to California to boost youth enrollment before January 31st deadline

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Building on encouraging numbers accounting for nearly a million more young adults enrolling in health coverage at the December 15th deadline compared to last year, Young Invincibles (YI) today joined forces with Enroll America and partners across the country to host the third annual National Youth Enrollment Day  — a day of action to educate young adults about the importance of obtaining healthcare coverage.

With more than 100 events across the country, National Youth Enrollment Day represented the largest coordinated grassroots open-enrollment effort targeting Millennials in America. The event brought together a wide array of national and local partners to raise awareness around new health care options for young adults while also urging enrollment in advance of the impending January 31 deadline. To help promote National Youth Enrollment Day efforts, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, recorded a special thank you video message to partners and supporters encouraging them to continue spreading the word about the benefits of enrolling in health care coverage.

“Thanks to the ACA, millions of young people have obtained health coverage — some for the first time ever -and the uninsured rate for young adults has dropped significantly from 28 percent to 17 percent,” said Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles. “But those rates are still twice the national average, and we still have work to do. That’s why we’re working with partners across the country to host National Youth Enrollment Day to educate young people about their health care options, opportunities to get financial assistance in purchasing coverage, and the upcoming January 31st deadline to enroll.”

“So far, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of young Americans who have enrolled in health coverage during this open enrollment period compared to previous years – but there are still many more who need to take action before it’s too late,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America. “We’re thrilled to work with Young Invincibles and our great partners across the country to provide enrollment resources to young adults on National Youth Enrollment Day and all the way up to the deadline so they can learn about their options and get covered before the final deadline on January 31.”

Uninsured rates among young adults remains high with nearly one in five Millennials lacking health care coverage. National Youth Enrollment Day addresses this challenge through grassroots events targeting young adults who typically shop for coverage later in enrollment periods than other age groups.

At, young Americans can learn more information about their options by using the Get Covered Plan Explorer to see the plans available to them in their area and receive personalized information on each plan’s estimated yearly cost based on self-reported health information. If they have questions and want to sit down face-to-face with an expert in their community, they can use theGet Covered Connector to schedule a free appointment with an in-person assister at a time and location that works for them. To empower local organizations and young people to spread the word about health coverage in their communities, there is also social media content and information on how to get involved in the effort available on the website.

Past and current coalition partners include the United Way, the YMCA, Hope WorldWide, Out2Enroll, Generation Progress, and Advocates for Youth, and several local ACA community coalitions including Enroll Virginia and the Houston’s Gulf Coast Collaborative.

Please be in touch with any questions, using the contact information above.



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Young Invincibles Hails Unanimous Passage of Workplace Protections for Federal Interns

Young Invincibles Hails Unanimous Passage of Workplace Protections for Federal Interns

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Federal Intern Protection Act (HR 3231) unanimously, a bill designed to protect federal interns from sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. The measure was introduced in July of 2015 by ranking members Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Grace Meng (D-NY). This new legislation will address a glaring loophole in federal law, which fails to provide protections to unpaid interns because they are not considered “employees.”

“This bill is an important step toward ensuring that interns are treated fairly in the workplace”, said Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Policy and Legislative Affairs Analyst. “If we want to create meaningful learning and training experiences that allow the next generation of young workers to gain critical skills, we have to ensure that workplaces are safe and healthy environments. Hopefully, this movement will kick-start progress on similar bills, HR 3232 and HR 3233, which address these issues for private sector interns and Congressional interns, respectively. All interns should be protected from sexual harassment and discrimination under the law.”

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Young Invincibles’ Third Annual State Report Cards Show Burden of Disinvestment in Public Higher Education

January 7, 2016

CONTACT: Sarah Schultz,, 202 734 6510

Third Annual State Report Cards Show Burden of Disinvestment in Public Higher Education

[WASHINGTON] – Young Invincibles has released its 3rd annual State Report Cards, grading each state on its support for public higher education. Young Invincibles looked at how each state makes higher education an accessible opportunity for its students, factoring and indexing dozens of metrics including rises in tuition, financial burden on families, and funding of need-based financial aid.

New this year, Young Invincibles also analyzed minority attainment gaps in each state. Education is a driver of socio-economic mobility and may be the best avenue to foster social and racial justice; yet disturbingly, the national higher education attainment gap has grown for both Latinos and African Americans.

Key findings include:

  • Slashed budgets: Forty-eight states spend less per student on higher education than they did prior to the recession (all but Alaska and North Dakota).
  • Skyrocketing tuition: Tuition is up $1,868, or 28 percent, since 2008 – that’s over twice the rate of inflation.
  • Racial inequality: 18 states failed our new measure of racial attainment equity. Nationally between 2007 and 2015, the higher education attainment gap between white non-Hispanic adults and Latinos grew by 2.2 percentage points, and the gap for African Americans widened by 0.4 points.
  • Failures: 19 states received an overall grade of F. This number of failing states is up from 11 last year.

Three-quarters of our nation’s students attend public colleges, which rely on stable budget support and sound policies from state legislatures to provide affordable, quality education. But since the Great Recession, states have slashed their higher education budgets, and now students and families are shouldering the burden. State divestment from higher education is the main driver in our student debt crisis, and we know the groundswell of attention around this issue has just begun, especially in light of state legislative sessions starting this week and the 2016 presidential election. A recent poll conducted by Young Invincibles found that Millennial voters overwhelmingly support increasing state funding for public colleges by an 81 to 17 percent margin.

Click here to see the full report including report cards for all 50 states: State Report Cards 2016.

This map also summarizes the results.


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New York State Recognizes Pregnancy as Qualifier for Year-Round Marketplace Healthcare

December 23, 2015

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

New York State Recognizes Pregnancy as Qualifier for Year-Round Marketplace Healthcare

In a move that will bolster the health of expectant mothers and newborns, today Governor Cuomo signed a law making New York the first state in the country to recognize pregnancy as a qualifying life event to sign up for health insurance coverage through the state marketplace year-round. This new law will ensure that pregnant women in New York can sign up for insurance and access maternity and prenatal care during their pregnancy, regardless of income.

Young Invincibles released a report earlier this year, WithoutMaternity Coverage: The Need For Special Enrollment in the Health InsuranceMarketplaces During Pregnancy, which drew significant attention to the issue, helping spur legislation across the country and helping to lay the foundation for New York’s new law. The report identifies health insurance plans which still may not be providing comprehensive maternity coverage, including for young adults covered on a parent’s employer plan. The report also sheds light on the dire health and financial consequences for women who do not have access to comprehensive maternity coverage. The legislation passed today helps address these risks and better support young parents. Hundreds of young supporters contacted the Governor to urge him to sign the bill in the past week.

“Today marks an important step forward for New York’s young people, in making their health a priority ” said Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles. “This new law will significantly benefit young adults, who make up more than 80 percent of new mothers. We’re thrilled that the New York legislature and Governor Cuomo are doing the right thing by protecting the health of pregnant women.”

The work informing and pushing forward this legislation was successful through the work of a range of stakeholders including New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, March Of Dimes New York, NARAL Pro-Choice New York, Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund, and New York Civil Liberties Union. This new law was made possible thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and State Senator Liz Krueger.

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Young Invincibles Announces Second Year of Summer Fellowship Program for College Students, “YI Scholars,” in Partnership With Cognosante Foundation

December 17, 2015

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

Young Invincibles Announces Second Year of Summer Fellowship Program for College Students, “YI Scholars,” in Partnership With Cognosante Foundation

[Washington, DC] — Young Invincibles, a national Millennial research and advocacy organization, and the Cognosante Foundation, the charitable arm of Cognosante, are pleased to announce year two of the YI Scholars Program. Launched in March 2015, the fellowship program offers first-generation college students the opportunity to join the Young Invincibles team in working on today’s most pressing economic issues facing young adults.

YI Scholars build a range of skills related to research and public policy, communications, community organizing and business. Scholars serve as integral members of Young Invincibles departments for the 10-week program, helping to support research projects, policy initiatives, digital and traditional media strategies, on-the-ground organizing, issue advocacy campaigns, consulting and beyond.

This summer, the class will increase from last years’ five fellows to eight: four fellows will participate in the program from the Young Invincibles Washington, D.C. office, two fellows from the Chicago, IL office, and an additional two from the Houston, TX office. Chicago and Houston YI Scholars will fly to Washington, D.C. to meet with their fellow Scholars, staff and the Cognosante Foundation, and to participate in other activities at the beginning and end of the program.

The Cognosante Foundation is funding the program and will work closely with the YI Scholars throughout the summer.

The YI Scholars Program provides a $5,000 summer stipend for fellows, giving strong preference to first-generation college students, and prioritizing students from underrepresented communities. The program will also cover the cost of travel to and from D.C., Houston, and Chicago. Applicants must show a strong academic record, leadership potential, an entrepreneurial spirit and an interest in our issue areas. After completing the program, Scholars will become part of a Scholars’ Alumni Program to ensure that they continue to engage with other young leaders going forward.

“Building on the success of last year’s launch, we’re excited for our program expansion. The YI Scholars program is a great opportunity for us to work with the next generation of young leaders, helping them build the skills they’ll need to join the effort in bettering opportunity for our generation and elevating the voices of young adults on the national stage,” said Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles.

“The Cognosante Foundation is committed to developing opportunities for young people and the underrepresented,” said Michele Kang, founder and CEO of Cognosante and the President of the Cognosante Foundation. “We saw firsthand the positive impact of last year’s YI Scholars Program, and we are pleased to partner again with Young Invincibles to not only offer but expand the 2016 program.”

More details about the program can be found here. Please be in touch if you have any questions.

About Young Invincibles:
Young Invincibles is a policy and advocacy organization committed to expanding economic opportunity for Millennials, young adults ages 18 to 34, and to amplifying the voices of our generation. Young Invincibles works to ensure that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo. For more information about Young Invincibles please visit

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NEW POLL: Millennial Voters Are Demanding Candidates Act on Student Debt


December 10, 2015

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202.734.6510

Millennial Voters Are Demanding Candidates Act on Student Debt

[WASHINGTON]–Student debt has soared past the $1.2 trillion mark – more than doubling since the 2008 election – so it’s no surprise that the issue is playing a far greater role in this election than elections past. But the extent to which the issue is resonating among voters has yet to be fully explored. Young Invincibles recently fielded a national poll of 800 Millennial voters ages 18 to 34 – with oversamples of African-Americans and Latinos (weighted to a base of 800) – to gauge the magnitude of concern for the issue as well as what policy prescriptions they believe will best address the problem. The results show that student debt will play an unprecedented role in the 2016 election. Read Young Invincibles’ polling memo on the data here.


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National Unemployment Rate Holds Steady As Millennial Unemployment Rate Increases

December 4, 2015
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

[WASHINGTON] — In November, 211,000 jobs were created, continuing a trend of strong growth seen this fall, with the the national unemployment rate holding steady at 5 percent. Yet for Millennials ages 18 to 34, the unemployment rates remains significantly higher, and this gap even widened slightly in November. This month, the young adult unemployment rate is 7.3 percent (seasonally adjusted), up from 7.1 percent in October. This is over 45 percent higher than the national unemployment rate, and further demonstrates the steep challenges young adults face in today’s economy.

Our research shows that even Millennials lucky enough to find work may still be struggling to set themselves up for careers. Congress should help connect more young people to meaningful work by making important investments in work-based learning opportunities and bolstering the Pell Grant so more young people can get the training and skills they need for quality jobs.

Here are more details on how different populations of young people fared in November 2015:
Jobs numbers November

- The unemployment rate for black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 is 12.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in November, down from 13.5 in October.

- The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 is 8.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in November, up from 7.5 percent in October.

- The unemployment rate for Asian-Pacific Islander young adults ages 18 to 34 is 5.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in November, up from 3.8 percent in October.

- The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 is 5.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in October, up from 5.7 percent in October.


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