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The goal of Success of All Youth is to engage the whole community, be it parents, families, educators, local organizations, businesses, and most importantly, the youth to work toward a strengthened community where every child is on a clear path to reaching his or her full potential. Working toward that future can mean less stress for parents and kids throughout developmental transitions and more young adults prepared to enter the work force, leading the communities of Oak Park and River Forest to a place of stronger community.


The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, through its Communityworks Partnership, developed three priority areas, one of which is meeting the diverse developmental needs of the community’s youth. The Success of All Youth (SAY) collective grew out of this commitment.

The SAY Approach

SAY is a member of the StriveTogether network, embracing the following approaches:

Cradle to Career: A continuum of development from birth to early adulthood during which intentional steps are taken by an individual to prepare oneself for education, work and life success. We support the journey of our children/youth from birth through post-secondary education/employment.

Collective Impact: A framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change.

Evidence Based Decision Making: The integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to act. This means that we collect, analyze, and use data to help inform our decisions and that data is used as a flashlight and not a hammer.

Continuous Improvement: The process by which a program or action is continually being evaluated and improvements are implemented based on data. We know we won’t always get it right on the first try and that real systemic improvement will take time and many small and big adjustment to stay on the path to reaching our goals.

Capacity Building: A people-focused endeavor that is a “process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in the fast-changing world.” (Ann Philbin, Capacity Building in Social Justice Organizations, Ford Foundation, 1996)