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Opportunity Youth

The Opportunity Youth Education and Social/Economic Factors Dashboards provide youth, stakeholders, and policy makers a data visualization that can be used to inform our city’s progress towards improving health and wellness outcomes for youth in Manchester who are disconnected from school or work.  

With the support of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, the Health Department convened the Manchester Office of Youth Services and the Youth Success Project - a coalition of young people who have experienced being unsheltered at some point in their lives. Together, and with the support of Pear Associates, we conducted key informant interviews with a diverse group of youth stakeholders and focus groups with young people themselves.

Why "Opportunity Youth"?
Adolescence is a pivotal time in our mental, emotional and physical development.  What young people experience during this time helps set the foundation for positive or negative health outcomes later in life. In 2021, 11% or 12,398 residents in Manchester were age 16-24 years old. Youth in this age group who are not connected to school or work can be termed “Opportunity Youth,” and may be at higher risk for depression, lower lifetime earnings, and premature death from preventable conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Using 2021 national estimates, approximately 1,000 of Manchester youth in this age group are disconnected.

Why these Dashboards?

Education and Social and Economic Factors account for more than 50% of a person’s overall health - more than individual health behaviors or access to healthcare. By creating education and social/economic factor dashboards, we are equipping our community and resourcing our partners with data that can be used to intervene in the places-and for the unique individuals-that experience the greatest health risk.

How were these Dashboards Created?

Figure 1. Conceptual Model of Youth Connection and Disconnection.

Conceptual Model of Youth Connection and Disconnection. Conceptual model of youth connection and disconnection is a large circle chart with top half of the circle having layers that each layer has specific protective factors and risk factors. The outer layer of the top half of the circle is Society/Policy with the protective factors being access to employment and education opportunities and risk factors being structural racism, and income equality.  The second layer is community with protective factors being neighborhood, cohesion and perception of safety and risk factors being neighborhood violence and lack of trust. The third layer is school/friends with protective factors being supportive teachers and pro-social peers and risk factors being high rates of school dropout and suspensions. The fourth layer is family with protective factors being parental support and engagement and risk actors being parental incarceration. The final innermost layer is individual with protective factors of high motivation, and academic achievement and risk factors being low, emotional self-regulation. There is a middle section of the model that reads from left to right with disconnected on the far left with an arrow to under-attached to an arrow to connected which is on the far right. On the right side of the entire conceptual model there is an arrow pointing upwards that indicates lifespan. This middle part that reads left to right is indicated as the 16 to 24 year age. The bottom half of the circle is split into three 1/3 being promotion 1/3 being prevention and 1/3 being re-engagement.

Source for image

Using the framework above, and with guidance from the framework's creators, we identified protective and risk factors that are known to be “influential” in supporting the full connection of youth to school or work. Themes emerged among these factors and, along with available data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and other secondary data sources, and information from similar dashboard from across the country, we selected the indicators that are represented in the dashboards below.

Want to Learn More?

  • More information about select dashboard indicators can be found here.

  • Our final Project Report, with community recommendations, can be found here.

  • More information about the Youth Success Project can be found here.

  • More information about the Bloomberg American Health Initiative can be found here.

Note: The Dashboards below are set up for desktop viewing. For mobile viewing, click here.

Education Factors Dashboard

Social and Economic Dashboard

Dashboard footnotes:

*  City Health Dashboard data is at a City level, not school district level

‡  Beginning of Year (BOY), not end of year (EOY), data sourced from New Hampshire Department of Education 

§   Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is Greater Manchester data, which includes Bedford, Goffstown, and Manchester

†  American Community Survey Data - 5-Year Rates

¶  Only Manchester School District data, not City-wide data

Manchester population: 114,730

For more information on these indicators, please see PDF linked above.

Ongoing Initiatives: 

The Manchester School District (MSD) is committed to improving outcomes for youth in its schools by implementing New Hampshire’s Multi-Tiered System of Support for Behavioral Health (MTSS-B) framework in collaboration with community partners. Please read more about MTSS-B and the School District’s Project AWARE federal grant, which supports the building of a sustainable infrastructure to promote youth and adolescent well-being in schools, on a new webpage for the Manchester School District Office of Behavioral Health.