Newsletter | October 2018

A Really Good Thing Happening in Adams County

At times, it seems as if we are bombarded with negative news and tragedies everywhere we look. We see injustice, inequity, and youth and families struggling to make it. It is easy to be overwhelmed or focus on the negativity around us. But, there is hope - there are remarkable people and things happening and changing all around us, and we believe that the ACYI Partnership is one of those bright spots.

The Youth Initiative of Adams County, or ACYI, is a A Partnership
Key Insight from  Becky Hoffman,  ACYI CEO
comprised of cross-sector Partners who are working together to improve Cradle to Career Outcomes on behalf of youth in our community. ACYI is also part of a larger, nation-wide network called StriveTogether. Together the organizations that make up the StriveTogether network are working on behalf of over ten million children and young people across the country! It's collective impact at its best.

Recently, there was an article written in the New York Times about the framework we follow, which highlights one of the  StriveTogether communities in Spartanburg, South Carolina. David Brooks maintains that this framework is "A Really Good Thing Happening in America" and potentially revolutionary.

Together, we have the opportunity to be revolutionary, to step away from our own agendas, our old ideologies, the same way we've done things, our individual glory, and walk towards a brighter future for kids. By working together, aligning around common goals (the Cradle to Career Outcomes),  we can eliminate disparities and see our kids succeed. Together, we are and will continue to see really good things happen in our families, schools, community and across our county. 

Check out the New York Times article below, which highlights how the StriveTogether Network, which ACYI is a part of, is revolutionary by working together using an outcomes focused approach!

In Partnership,

Our Framework is "A Good Thing Happening in America"

"Frankly, I don't need studies about outcomes to believe that these collective impact approaches are exciting and potentially revolutionary. Trust is build and the social fabric is repaired when people form local relationships around shared tasks.

Building working relationships across the community is an intrinsically good thing. You do enough intrinsically good things and lives will be improved in ways you can never plan or predict. This is where our national renewal will come from."

- David Brooks, New York Times Opinion Columnist, "A Really Good Thing Happening in America"

In one of his latest pieces for the New York Times, David Brooks captures the essence of the collective impact framework StriveTogether communities, like the ACYI Partnership, utilize to improve cradle to career outcomes for youth. Collective impact is "a good thing happening in America", and is changing the way communities like ours work together using an outcomes focused approach to ensure all of our kids and young people succeed. READ MORE

Becky Hoffman, ACYI CEO, Receives Bill Henningsgaard Cradle to Career Champion Award
Pictured here: Becky Hoffman, ACYI CEO, receives the 2018 Bill Henningsgaard Cradle to Career Champion Award

At StriveTogether's National Convening in Seattle, ACYI's CEO Becky Hoffman, received the Bill Henningsgaard Cradle to Career Champion Award. This award is presented to individuals who embody the passion, commitment, and persistence of Bill Henningsgaard, who through his work with Eastside Pathways in Bellevue, Washington, brought together partners with a common vision of a productive, fulfilling life for every child.

"The collective impact mindset is really starting to take hold in the community," Becky shared. "The conversations are shifting from 'my' kids to our' kids and 'our community. Our double down has been infusing youth voice and perspective, which has had a powerful impact in informing our strategies."  READ MORE

Featured in StriveTogether News, "Leaders from Chicago and Colorado Honored at National Convening," written by Elizabeth Male, Communications Specialist for StriveTogether

How our Board of Directors supports the ACYI Partnership

Billy Gurr, ACYI Board Treasurer
Because ACYI is not a traditional program, our governance structure is unique in that we have a Board of Directors, who works to raise funds to sustain operations, guides the work of the staff, and plays the central role in sustaining county-wide leadership commitment to the Movement.  AND we have a Community Leaders Council who is then responsible for advancing shared efforts to improve Cradle to Career Outcomes  on behalf youth across our community.

The Board of Directors Works in Tandem with ACYI's Community Leaders Council to ensure that there is staff in place to provide data capacity needed to focus on outcomes, neutral facilitation and project management to support shared efforts. 

Join us in welcoming our new board member, Billy Gurr, from First Bank, who recently joined us as our Treasurer!

To learn more about the ACYI Board of Directors, CLICK HERE.

Join the Catalyst Club!
Donate Today

Today, 1 in 4 of Adams County students aren't graduating high school. Today, 3 in 4 Adams County students aren't succeeding in middle grade math. And today, you can help those numbers change. We have an opportunity to come TOGETHER to make a lasting impact not just in the short term, but to really invest in the future success of our entire community. We would like to invite you to join our Catalyst Club. For just $20 a month or $240 a year, you will help students in our community succeed. $20 a month is a nominal investment to knock out an enormous future cost to our community and to ensure our students have a bright future. Set up your Catalyst Club Donation HERELEARN MORE

Together We 'CAN'
Collaborative Action Network (CAN) Updates

Collaborative Action Networks or CANs are the "guts of the Youth Initiative of Adams County. Using the Cradle to Career Outcomes to guide their work, CANs focus on a specific indicator as a collective force, applying their efforts in a collaborative and constructive way. LEARN MORE

To learn more about each of our CANs, click on the respective links below:

Authentic Community Voice & Perspective
Learn How Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors (TEGA) is Supporting the ACYI Partnership

TEGA Adams County

TEGA at National StriveTogether Convening
TEGAs go to Seattle

The ACYI TEGA Team shares insights on youth, parent, and community perspective at the 2018 StriveTogether National Convening.

ACYI is not only a local partnership working to see the success of kids and youth in Adams County, but also part of a national network of organizations who are also working for youth success across the nation. Our national network organization, StriveTogether, held it's annual convening in Seattle, Washington recently, and the ACYI TEGA program was a highlight of the event. READ MORE

School and Community Safety Research Summary
Findings from ACYI and Girl Effect via TEGA interviews

Initial waves of TEGA research have captured insights from youth and parents related to school and community safety. In these initial rounds of interviews,

"I t hink at school, it's a safety hazard because you don't know what's [going to] happen to you in school. And, I prefer to stay safe at home because it's more secure than school." 
- 18 year-old Latina female

Students surveyed also reported that they see that schools are trying to create a safer environment . Those surveyed mentioned teachers who check-in with them and lead them through lockdown drills as a reason to feel a bit safer at school. Overall, students think their schools are doing a good job in planning for an active threat.

Our  Executive Summary identifies the key findings from this research in the area of school and  community safety, suggests further research recommendations, and outlines youth inspired  improvements for organizations who directly serve youth in Adams County. READ MORE
Call for Support
Help Needed Reaching High School Graduates Not Enrolled in Post-Secondary Programs (and their Parents)

The  Post-Secondary Success CAN is working with  TEGA to garner authentic youth and parent perspective to inform their work. Information already gathered through our  Technology Enabled Girl Ambassador (TEGA) program is showing that youth in our county as young as 13 years old are concerned about the cost of post-secondary education and the ability to pay back student loans.

If you know a young person who graduated high school in Adams County in 2018 and is not currently enrolled in a post-seconday program, we want to hear from them! We are speaking to graduates AND their parents. These interviews will help us understand how we can better support our youth on their journey to receiving post-secondary credentials and certificates needed for gainful employment. Please refer all youth to Jody Nowicki, TEGA Manager, at

Ongoing Learning Opportunities
To Support Outcomes Focused Work

Through our Institute we provide training, coaching and support for outcomes focused work happening on behalf of children and youth, specifically related to moving the needle in identified Cradle to Career priorities in Adams County. LEARN MORE

For a list of current opportunities available, visit us online at

Partnership Coach

ACYI is hiring a Partnership Coach. This position will be responsible for coaching, facilitating and supporting Partners using the Continuous Improvement process to improve Cradle to Career Outcomes.  LEARN MORE

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full time (40 hours/week) for 1 full year at a community organization (nonprofit, college/university, local government office, etc.) on anti-poverty projects. AmeriCorps VISTA members work on projects that build the capacity of their organization.

Check out the following AmeriCorps VISTA placement opportunities:

ACYI works to MOBILIZE and SUPPORT a collective partnership of stakeholders focused on improving educational outcomes by leveraging student-level data, community expertise and continuous improvement best practices to...