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It’s Not Always Sunny in Young America

By Adrienne Sheares

The onset of the Great Recession showed the world, it’s not always sunny in young America. At the rate we’re going, we’re set to be missing 2.7 million youth jobs over the next 10 years. Higher education costs are skyrocketing at a time when more careers require that extra education. Further adding to the dilemma for young Americans, for the first time in history, student debt surpassed credit card debt, hitting $1 trillion.

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Although the recession has certainly hit Americans of all ages, it has been particularly tough on young people. (Check out the evolution of life between generations in the infographic.)


Despite all these challenges, the sun has not set on the Millennial generation just yet. Last spring, Young Invincibles went on the Campaign for Young America bus tour, visiting over 40 cities and talking to hundreds of young Americans. We found that despite being frustrated, many of those we talked to were optimistic about their future and ready to take action.

Today, Young Invincibles released an ideas book of solutions for young America, a compilation of ideas and solutions that we heard from young people on the ground, experts, partner organizations, and others. The book includes ideas such as:

  • Increasing funding for AmeriCorps: the program can increase its available jobs opportunities from 80,000 to 500,000. This solution would help decrease unemployment, put resources in struggling communities, and give young people key job skills.
  • Create a “Career Internship” Initiative, a paid one-year opportunity that would both build work skills and connect trainees to their education.

You can read more solutions here.

There are plenty of problems plaguing young people and it’s time to talk solutions. It’s not always sunny in young America, but it can be once again.