“Informing Youth Policy, Improving Youth Outcomes”


AYPF’s vision is that all young people, particularly youth marginalized by systemic inequities, have equitable opportunities and supports to become lifelong learners, earn a family-sustaining wage in their career, and actively participate in civic society.


AYPF’s mission is to educate, engage, and inform policymakers, practitioners, and researchers about education, youth, and workforce policies to improve the lives and outcomes of youth marginalized by systemic inequities. We carry out this mission by providing research-based information and resources, first-hand learning experiences, convenings, and peer-to-peer networking exchanges to policymakers and youth-serving leaders at the national, state, and local levels.

AYPF’s Theory of Action

AYPF’s theory of action is that by educating and informing policymakers and policy influencers on best practices, policies, strategies, innovations, and research on positive youth development approaches and effective education, youth, and workforce policies, the policymakers will build their capacity and understanding to make better and more equitable decisions on behalf of youth marginalized by systemic inequities. We also believe that research, evaluation, and data must form the foundation for policy and practice and that their use must be supported and expanded.

Four Policy Pillars

AYPF’s goal is for all youth to be lifelong learners, hold a career to support themselves and their family, and be active in civic society. In addition to our positive youth development approach, AYPF has identified several key policy areas that we believe are critical to help all youth thrive, but in particular, youth marginalized by systemic inequities. Education, youth, and workforce policy and programs should be designed to reflect these four elements of policy that we believe lead to more equitable opportunities and outcomes: