Striving to Thriving: Youth Occupational Identity Formation

A preview of research on Occupational Identity formation among Black and Hispanic young people and young people from households with lower incomes

What does success look like to young people of color? What are the resources they need to access educational and employment opportunities? What barriers stand in their way?

Many educators, youth advocates and funders ask themselves these questions when developing strategies to best support young people. Youth hold important knowledge — and their voices serve as a guide.

About the Research

The Youth Occupational Identity Formation research project was born from the idea that asking young people, ages 15-21, how they see themselves, their challenges, and their goals might offer an important and missing dimension to the field of educators, advocates, and others dedicated to improving outcomes related to education and work pathways for Black and Hispanic youth and young people from households with lower incomes.

Over the course of 16 months, researchers from Goodwin Simon Strategic Research listened to nearly 4,000 Black and Hispanic youth from households of all income levels, as well as white youth from households with lower incomes. This research surfaced new knowledge about how young people develop occupational identities and how they define, refine and pursue the futures they imagine for themselves.

Preview the Findings


Resources & Downloads

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