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Arizona Educators Make Progress With 'Opportunity Youth'

Arizona is making progress in helping young people either find work or go to school. Two years ago, Arizona ranked 42nd in the nation for the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds not working or going to school.

An analysis by the United Health Foundation shows Arizona now ranks 31st in the percentage of these young adults, called “opportunity youth.” But, even with that drop, there are still more than 67,000 opportunity youth in the Valley, nearly 12% of the total population of 16- to 24-year-olds here.

To find out more about what’s being done to reach this population, The Show spoke with Tim Valencia, youth and education director for the city of Phoenix and Kristin Ferguson-Colvin, a professor of social work at ASU and director of the Center for Human Capital and Youth Development.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.