WHO WE ARE
Providing resources and support to disconnected young people, adults and those who help them move forward is instrumental in effecting real change.
The Ready Foundation LLC (“The Ready Foundation”) provides funding and focused support to a small number of 501[c]  nonprofit organizations in New York. Across the five boroughs, our investment is focused on improving the lives of underserved, overlooked, at-risk youth, adults and those who move them forward.
The goal of The Ready Foundation is to coach, fund, advocate and affect systemic change enabling more New Yorkers to thrive. Ready stands for economic security, community development and social justice. At the core is health, safety and economic security. Some think it’s as simple as providing skills, access and a job. Through our experience, we've learned that it often requires far more.
The path to economic security and long-term health and happiness requires a comprehensive set of supports: health, mental health and other supportive services, education, training, mentoring, access to employment, re-employment and advancement. Strategies that take action and break down barriers will build capacity within our community.
We are thrilled to partner with nonprofit organizations aligned with our mission and dedicated to addressing this challenge.
The health and safety of our youth is a fundamental responsibility. At every stage of development, interventions are needed to spark conversations about healthy and unhealthy choices, relationships, opportunities and consequences. In day to day interactions, in popular culture and the media, particularly as online screen time increases, bullying and cyberbullying rates are on the rise. With all that our youth are taking in, anger, hurt and fear can surface. This can have a rippling impact on how they feel about themselves, their friendships, the choices they make, and their physical well being. While prevention is paramount, young people need more opportunities and outlets with trusted sources to express and process what they are experiencing. They also need programs and role models to explore the hope and promise linked to navigating healthy pathways.
One in seven youth in America ages 16-24 are disconnected, defined as out of school and out of work. This high-risk combination totals 5.5m across the US. In NYC, prior to crushing impact of COVID-19, one in eight young adults were disconnected, claiming 117,000+. If we filled Yankees Stadium, City Field and Madison Square Garden to capacity with this population, over 3,000 would remain waiting in line, with an additional 325,000 considered at-risk of disconnecting.
At the heart of it all is economic security, community development and social justice.
A Measure of America study found the financial impact of disconnection for even one year to be profound. Median family income for those never disconnected was $78,000 verses $44,000 for those disconnected for a year or more. For those disconnected for two or more years, income fell to $31,000.
More than half of today’s NYC disconnected youth are between 22 to 24 years of age. Almost three-quarters have at least a high school diploma and one in nine have earned a four-year degree. The population is older and wiser! Three quarters are Black or Latinx, and the concentration hails from low-income communities, primarily The Bronx followed by Brooklyn. These are prime candidates for higher paying jobs than the hundreds of thousands of low-wage and part-time jobs created during the decade of strong economic growth prior to COVID-19.
PRIORITY FOCUS AREAS
Interventions that positively impact the health and safety of our youth as they develop. Navigating challenges, identifying healthy pathways and consequences, and exploring opportunities that can lead to meaningful lives.
Re-engagement support for dislocated students, workers and recent graduates is essential particularly during periods of economic recovery.
Preventative support for NYC middle and high school students and young adults – career awareness and readiness; college retention, completion & transition to the workforce; job placement, retention and advancement from low-wage, part-time and/or gig employment.
Priority support is given to established, effective, highly utilized and programs poised for scale who support the individual and extend support to those who will help move them forward, whether directly or through partnerships.
The creators and doers behind The Ready Foundation are Bethany and Euan Menzies, founders and principals. Drawing from decades of experience working in the for-profit sector and with non-profits since 2012, they are committed to developing and advocating for at-risk and underserved groups in New York City, and hopefully empowering them to create healthy lives and secure successful & fulfilling careers while living in the greatest city in the world.