Inclusive Futures: JuventudES Breaks Boundaries for Underserved Youth in Mexico City

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Job Fair in JuventudES

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Mexico City, a global metropolis brimming with opportunity, also holds a different reality for many young residents. Among the 9.3 million inhabitants, 2.2 million – a staggering quarter – are aged 15-29, yet a significant portion face formidable barriers to education and formal employment. The Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) paints a serious picture, revealing that over 854,000 young people grapple with various forms of disadvantage, including precarious jobs, unemployment, and discouragement. Often burdened by social expectations and family obligations, women bear the brunt of these hardships.

This complex landscape is further impacted by Mexico City's migrant population. In 2020, over 104,000 migrants, including an estimated 28,000 young people between 15 and 29 years old, faced the challenge of integrating into a new city and culture. Navigating language barriers, lack of documentation, and potential discrimination, they encountered obstacles to education and work, amplifying their sense of exclusion.

Recognizing the reality facing many young people in Mexico City, IYF, alongside the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, launched JuventudES. This visionary initiative tackles these challenges head-on, empowering Opportunity Youth, including migrants, to break free from cycles of adversity. By weaving a network of collaborating institutions – ranging from GOYN organizations to educational institutions and government agencies – JuventudES offers young people transformative opportunities. 

Through a comprehensive curriculum – including 32 Passport to Success® (PTS) lessons, technical training in high-demand sectors like hospitality and commerce, and personalized youth counseling – participants gain the skills, knowledge, and support they need to pursue meaningful educational and career paths.

Beyond skill-building, JuventudES fosters a culture of peace and inclusivity. Targeted promotion activities create safe and supportive environments for youth to thrive. By leveraging existing public resources and forging strategic partnerships, the program ensures a robust support network guides and empowers participants every step of the way.

The impact of JuventudES extends far beyond mere statistics, embodying a source of optimism for 700 young individuals who have found a lifeline amidst adversity. Among them, stories abound of triumph over adversity—of dreams rekindled, careers launched, and futures transformed. Notably, 57% of participants have successfully secured employment, while 74% have taken strides towards furthering their education or training. Moreover, JuventudES has emerged as a force for social equity, extending a helping hand to under-represented groups such as migrants, indigenous communities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those living with disabilities. By assisting 84% of such participants in overcoming bureaucratic hurdles and accessing essential documents (birth certificate, Personal Identification Number or school certificates, school enrollment, preparation and presentation of an exam for recognition of an academic level), the program has paved the way for newfound opportunities and inclusion.

IYF's steadfast mission to empower disadvantaged youth continues in 2024 with JuventudES, aiming to reach over 2,000 Opportunity Youth in Mexico City, including under-represented groups, and create lasting positive change. This initiative builds upon IYF's decade-long track record of success, having empowered over 300,000 young people nationwide since 2012 through strategic partnerships, and innovative programs like Órale, JuventudES, and En Trayecto exemplifying the commitment to empowering at-risk youth, creating pathways to opportunity, and driving economic prosperity for Mexico's dynamic future.
 

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opportunity youth economic opportunity