Do You Know Why We Have So Many Partners?

After numerous jobs and internships, in various locations, I assumed my work at America’s Promise Alliance would be similar to all my other positions— the typical research, reports, and engaging with others— but it was so much more than that. As an intern for the Partner Engagement team, I learned so much about the different types of organizations that exist, the types of resources that they offer, and why they are America’s Promise partners.

Before my internship, I had my own experience of working with a community partner around juvenile justice. I learned the importance of having a strong relationship with a partner in order to work effectively towards a common goal or interest. So, when I first began interning at America’s Promise, I didn’t understand how an organization could have effective relationships with so many different partners (more than 400 to date.) I found myself wondering ‘’Why do we have so many partners, and how do we maintain an effective partnership with each of them?”

After a few conversations about the purpose of our large number of national partners, it still didn’t quite make sense to me.  I came into this internship thinking I had a clear cut definition of what a partner relationship entailed, but my experience at America’s Promise has changed and broadened that definition.

After countless hours spent on our hundreds of partners’ websites, I began to realize it’s not only about the communication we have with our partners, or even the number of partners we have. It’s about everyone coming together across many different sectors to work towards benefiting and enhancing the lives of kids. Our Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership that works to better the lives of youth by working to end the dropout crisis. Our national partners come from all fields and sectors, including the nonprofit, business, education, government, and other sectors whose work focus on different areas, but who are all aligned with our Five Promises. Our partners realize the importance and the impact an effective education can have on a child’s life. Each of our partners brings a unique aspect to the alliance. They offer resources, events, webinars, technical assistance, and so much more.

For example, did you know that, which is a website hosted by the collaborative efforts of the Institute of Higher Education Policy and the Lumina Foundation, allows you to ask a question regarding post-secondary research?  It then allows you to customize your search by using different metric systems that give you different types of research. Or how about the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s data center, Kids Count, which allows users to see information regarding demographics, education, economic well-being, health, safety and risky behaviors by state or even cities or congressional districts within states? These are just a few of the intriguing resources from Alliance partners that have caught my eye.

So, why does America’s Promise have so many partners? With the help of all our national partners, we have the capability to make the largest impact to end the dropout crisis. We have a strong presence in every state, and these effective partnerships help to make sure that all children experience the Five Promises in order to succeed.

My time spent at America’s Promise Alliance has allowed me to learn about the numerous types of resources our partners offer, the different types of partners one can have,  how effective partnerships can come in a variety of forms, and the importance of different sectors working together to ensure youth are receiving a high-quality education and graduating from high school.