Moving From Risk to Hope: Count Us In


  • Deborah A. Moroney American Institutes for Research (AIR)



Nation at Hope, Nation at Risk, youth development, policy, practice, staff development, learning and development, social and emotional learning and development


In “Moving From Risk to Hope: Count Us In,” the author describes the report entitled From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope released in January 2019 by the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. The report and related brief, Building Partnerships in Support of Where, When, and How Learning Happens offer recommendations for how the education sector can support social and emotional learning and development. This article offers a reflection on the Nation at Hope report recommendations for the youth development field and professionals. There are significant opportunities for the youth development field to partner with other sectors, intentionally support social and emotional learning, train professional staff on strategies to support learning and development, and research our efforts in ways that are accessible and foster practice. It is a critical and hopeful time for the youth development field to honor our history, employ the recommendations in the report, and build our youth development knowledge and practice in light of what we now know about how to optimally foster learning and development.

Author Biography

Deborah A. Moroney, American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Deborah Moroney is a managing director at American Institutes for Research (AIR), and she is director of the Youth Development and Supportive Learning Environments area. Dr. Moroney’s research and practice experience is in social and emotional learning and youth development. She has led numerous projects that explore the factors that influence child and family well-being, works with national multi-site programs, and serves as the principal investigator of city and statewide evaluations including School's Out New York City. Dr. Moroney’s work demonstrates a value in bridging research and practice. She has authored practitioner and organizational guides and using both research findings and practitioner input. Dr. Moroney has edited and authored numerous chapters and publications on social and emotional development and assessment. Prior to AIR, Dr. Moroney was clinical faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the Youth Development Graduate Program. Dr. Moroney holds a Ph.D. from the UIC.


Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, & Academic Development. 2018. From a nation at risk to a nation at hope. Retrieved from






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