Molly Walsh just concluded her term as a Public Allies Iowa AmeriCorps Volunteer in which she worked to compile Opportunity Iowa’s Opportunity Compass. To learn more about Opportunity Iowa and Public Allies, read her first post.
Opportunity Iowa is a new state-wide initiative that recently began gaining some ground in the Des Moines community. Opportunity Iowa is premised on the belief that no matter what zip code you live in, you should have access to the tools necessary to achieve the American dream. Des Moines Area Community College president Robert Denson was approached by the nation-wide initiative, Opportunity Nation , to consider bringing Opportunity Nation’s ideals to the state of Iowa. Opportunity Iowa hopes to engage communities in discussions about how we can create a well-rounded resource base for our teens and young adults.
One attempt at identifying available resources, as well as what resources are missing for our 16-24 year olds, is The Opportunity Compass. This interactive map highlights resources and opportunities for the involvement of teens and young adults in the Polk County area. It provides locations of resources in the following categories: education, employment, support services, immigrant and refugee services, volunteer opportunities, trades and apprenticeships, and activities and interests.
Opportunity Iowa encourages all teens and young adults to explore the Opportunity Compass to find resources that may be of benefit to them. The map is dynamic and will be updated as new and existing resources are identified. Resource providers are also encouraged to navigate the Opportunity Compass to identify gaps in service around Polk County.
The goal is to provide maps for all 99 Iowa counties over the next couple of years. We encourage organizations and individuals to get involved with the mapping process. Visit our website today to learn more about this great initiative and to navigate The Opportunity Compass. After all, it may be the key to navigating your success!