About the Mayor's Youth Opportunity Initiative

The Mayor's Youth Opportunity Initiative (MYOI) is Mayor's program to align City resources and strategy to ensure that every young person in Seattle has access to opportunities and resources to thrive and successfully transition into adulthood. MYOI is comprised of several programs aligned to the five pillars of youth success:

Focus Areas

  • Employment: Seattle youth are engaged in meaningful employment opportunities
  • Positive connections: Seattle youth have a positive connection with an adult and their community
  • Education: Seattle youth graduate from Seattle Public Schools on-time and attain postsecondary credentials
  • Health: Seattle youth experience optimum health
  • Safety: Seattle youth are safe and free of negative criminal systems involvement

Past Efforts

  • Establishing a Youth Opportunity Cabinet which includes Dwayne Chapelle (Department of Education and Early Learning), Catherine Lester (Human Services Department) and Brian Surratt (Office of Economic Development) in 2016 to ensure coordination and alignment across the numerous City departments to maximize impact of City investments.

  • Mayor signing onto Cities United (2013), a collective of mayors across America who united to end violence in their cities.

  • Mayor signing onto President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative (2014), a national call to action for cities to address opportunity gaps faced by boys and men of color.

  • The Mayor's Youth Opportunity Summit (2015), an all-day convening with youth and young adults that specifically focused improving outcomes for young men of color.

  • A series of community listening sessions with young Black men led by the Mayor's Bloomberg-funded Innovation Team (I-Team).


MYOI is guided by the Youth Opportunity Cabinet, a sub-cabinet comprised of department directors and the Mayor's Office that ensure alignment and collaboration between the many City departments that invest in young people. YOC scope includes:

  • Support Mayor's vision for youth and inform his priorities
  • Align departments on strategy, resources and decision-making
  • Resolve cross-cutting policy issues
  • Ensure coordinating planning at staff level.

Represented departments: Parks & Recreation, Education & Early Learning, Human Services, Economic Development, Public Health, Police, Civil Rights, Neighborhoods, Arts & Culture, Libraries, and Seattle Center.