Research and Data: Research and data drive policy change and solutions. YWI focuses on both quantitative and qualitative data in order to change the narrative of young women by elevating their lived experiences and solutions. A priority is placed on ensuring young women of color, American Indian young women, and other underrepresented young women’s lived experiences and solutions are central in research.
Partnership with Government: In order to influence the policy and legislation that affect young women, YWI prioritizes partnerships with a local or state government partner. Through this process, government partners work hand-in-hand with young women to identify and make needed policy changes.
Cross-Sector Participation: The Young Women’s Initiative is built on cross- sector partnerships, including: government, NGO, philanthropy, corporation, college presidents, and all levels of government. Not only does the model stress participation of these leaders and their organizations, but it emphasizes the need to make institutional shifts in each sector as well, based on the YWI recommendations. Their job is to help resource, sequence, and implement the young women’s recommendations.
Young Women at the Center: At the core of each YWI is a Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC)— a group of young women from each community targeted, who serve as the architects of YWI recommendations and the drivers of the solutions. We know that young women are leaders in their communities, and that they best understand the solutions to the problems they face. YWI amplifies their knowledge and leadership.
Our work encompasses four key pillars: