How can we help young people navigate the journey from high school to college and career, ensuring that they are set for success in life?

We envision a future for young people in America where all young people are fully seen and experience agency in their journeys to their future careers and lives. Right now, this is not the experience for all young people in the United States. Black and Latino young people, and young people experiencing poverty, face barriers in accessing all of the support and opportunities needed to develop their college and career pathways.

“If you reach out and have this diverse support system for everything you need, you can have all your needs met, and you can be really thriving and be able to reach all of your goals rather than just surviving and trying to isolate yourself.” – Los Angeles, CA, White female, 16-18, lower income

Equitable Futures is a project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is part of their broader portfolio to support educational and employment systems to help all young people navigate their journeys towards their future lives. Equitable Futures develops and shares new research, models and practices that can contribute to efforts to build more equitable educational and employment systems. We hope the many groups who work to support young people–educators, program designers, direct service providers, policymakers, advocates, and funders–will find these resources useful. 

The central concept at the heart of the research and work of Equitable Futures is that young people matter. Their voices, their sense of agency, and how they view themselves need to be equally valued alongside all of the existing evidence about what interventions and supports work best to help young people achieve future economic mobility. Whether a young person’s pathway takes them to a four-year college, community college, or vocational training, Equitable Futures strives for a world in which all career pathways are open to all young people. 

On this site, you can learn more about the core concepts and insights that emerged from the Equitable Futures research; find tools and resources developed to help inform the work you are doing; and in future iterations of the site, you will hear the voices and thoughts of young people who participated in the research throughout the site.

Featured Research

The adjustments, sacrifices, and other life changes young people ages 18-24 are making during the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting their perceptions about their future: from their career goals to how they value college.

View the findings from a new tracking survey to learn more.