Crowdsourcing challenge seeks ideas to help county’s youth “Thrive by 25”

Sep 12, 2014

NORWALK, Sept. 12, 2014 – Fairfield County’s Community Foundation wants your ideas to help the county’s 100,000 young adults have a better chance to become self-sufficient by age 25. If you have the winning answer, your idea will be brought to life—if you act by Oct. 3.

Today’s older teens and young adults face unemployment rates from 13.6 percent in Danbury to 49.5 percent in Bridgeport, plus one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation. Up to 10,600 young people in Fairfield County are not in school, receiving job training or working.

“If our young people have to leave the county to support themselves, our population will decline, businesses will flounder, unemployment will rise, our tax base will shrink, and the need for government and nonprofit services will increase,” said Juanita James, president and CEO of the Community Foundation.

“It’s a moral and economic imperative that our young people can remain in Fairfield County, support themselves and their future families, and energize our communities,” she said. “We want to help our young people ‘thrive by twenty-five.’”

The Community Foundation turned to a crowdsourcing platform to gather ideas. The challenge encourages anyone—young, old, students, workers, parents, retirees—to answer “What barriers prevent or challenge Fairfield County young people from achieving independence and success by age 25? What opportunities and support can we provide to improve the results?”

Ideas can be simple to complex. To submit an idea, visit the What Works Challenge Hub website The challenge ends October 3.

The What Works Challenge Hub is supported by Citi Ventures, Citi Foundation and the Low Income Investment Fund.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation has awarded $180 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. This tax-exempt charitable foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards. For more information, visit