The Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Opportunities Initiative (MAYOI) was a local initiative, part of a national effort, to help foster youth make successful transitions to adulthood. The national effort led by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is currently replicated in 10 states.
Core strategies of MAYOI included a Community Partnership Board comprised of youth and adults, and the Opportunity Passport™. Opportunity Passport participants were able to take advantage of multiple resources, including financial literacy training and an IDA (Individual Development Account), which provided a one-to-one match for all money saved by youth to help them purchase specific assets such a car, living and housing items, etc.; a debit card for youth to practice managing money; and “door openers” for youth in the areas of employment, education, health, housing and community engagement.
After five successful years (2003-2008), The Community Foundation expanded MAYOI’s core strategies throughout the state of Georgia and institutionalized the work in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and other nonprofits with statewide reach. The Foundation continues to provide technical assistance and support to DHS as well as the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC) through the statewide initiative,Georgia Youth Opportunities Initiative.
Increased Opportunities – The Community Foundation continues to support DHS, which now provides IDAs and financial literacy training to transitioning youth statewide.Working with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, we continue to reach and partner with DHS leaders to ensure important attention is paid to the population of transitioning youth.
Community Leadership Board
– MAAC is assuming responsibility for continuing the volunteer presence that was critical to MAYOI’s success. For more information on volunteering, please contact Jennifer Ross at 404-880-9323.
Youth Engagement – EmpowerMEnt Group, the statewide youth advocacy group, continues to grow and expand its influence and reach. For more information on EmpowerMEnt, please contact Sarah Bess Hudson or Anthony Reeves at 404-880-9323.
- For information on Foster Care and Group Homes, please contact Tacia Bazile at the Georgia Department of Human Resources at 404-657-0037 or Jennifer Ross at MAAC at 404-880-9323.
- For information on Partnerships, please contact Jennifer Ross at MAAC at 404-880-9323.
What We've Learned
In 2010, The Community Foundation developed a report outlining MAYOI, how it came to exist, how it was implemented, how it has evolved and lessons we learned about making it sustainable and scalable.
Click here to view the report.