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What Works

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January 29, 2018
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A person with medium-dark skin tone, curly hair and glasses holds a white sign with the words "I GOT THE JOB!" Behind him, people mill around in what appears to be a conference setting with draped panels. A bright green sign in the bottom right with the words "Pathways to Success" partly cut off by the edge of the photo.

As President Obama said when he launched My Brother’s Keeper, the initiative is about “building on what works – when it works, in those critical life-changing moments.” This means using data to inform and improve service delivery and developing and scaling interventions with evidence to ensure all young people can reach their full potential.

MBK Alliance will continue to shine a spotlight on the innovations and innovators that are advancing evidence-based models that lead to measurable, tangible results for our most vulnerable youth. We will tell stories, share results, and provide tools and resources to help communities understand discrepancies, benchmark results, and track progress. If you’re looking for a glimpse of what’s working, we encourage you to check out the guide from the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force’s “ What Works Showcase Opens in a new tab ,” which features interventions with rigorous evidence of impact across MBK’s cradle-to-college-and-career-goals from more than thirty of the nation’s premiere organizations.

The Six Milestones

To ensure that all young Americans have the opportunities they need to reach their full potential, MBK Alliance is grounded in the idea that we must adopt approaches that empower all of our children with the tools to succeed as they move through key life stages. Research and experience have identified key milestones on the path to adulthood that are especially predictive of later success, and where interventions can have the greatest impact. At each of these markers, we see some children start to fall behind. Although the factors that influence success at each stage are complex and interdependent, by focusing on these milestones, doing what works and removing or avoiding roadblocks that hinder progress, we can provide young people the opportunity and the tools to get ahead. Get an in-depth look at the Six Milestones.

1. Entering School Ready to Learn

All children should have a healthy start and enter school ready – cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.

2. Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade

All children should be reading at grade level by age 8 – the age at which reading to learn becomes essential.

3. Graduate from High School

All youth should receive a quality high school education and graduate with the skills and tools needed to advance to postsecondary education or training.

4. Complete Postsecondary Education or Training

Every American should have the option to attend postsecondary education and receive the education and training needed for the quality jobs of today and tomorrow.

5. All Youth Out of School are Employed

Anyone who wants a job should be able to get a job that allows them to support themselves and their families.

6. All Youth Remain Safe from Violent Crime

All youth and young adults should be safe from violent crime; and individuals who are confined should receive the education, training, and treatment they need for a second chance.

President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force also identified the following cross-cutting strategies that also remain core principles to our work:

  • Enabling comprehensive, cradle-to-college-and-career community solutions;

  • Learning from and doing what works;

  • Making data about critical life indicators more transparent; and

  • Empowering parents and engaging other caring adults

Watch a video from the 2016 MBK “What Works Showcase” featuring more than 30 of the nation’s premiere organizations and interventions:

Four young people in business and casual attire sit on stage in chairs while President Obama, also seated, smiles holding a microphone.

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