Adolescence—which begins in puberty and lasts through the mid-20s—is a critical period of development during which young people experience a variety of biological, cognitive, psychological, and social changes. During this period of learning and identity-formation, youth and young adults need access to opportunities—within schools, communities, and workplaces—and supportive relationships to help them learn and grow. Unfortunately, many young people (particularly those who experience structural racism and other social inequities, like childhood poverty) have inequitable access to these resources. This, in turn, creates disparities in health, social and emotional wellness, employment and economic well-being, and academic achievement.
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