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AEI and the Millennial Success Sequence

In June, 2017, AEI hosted an impressive group of scholars, educators, and students to discuss a new report by Wendy Wang and W. Bradford Wilcox, "The Millennial Success Sequence: Marriage, Kids, and the 'Success Sequence' Among Young Adults." This joint report from AEI and the Institute for Family Studies uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to show that people between the ages of 28 and 34 who graduate from high school, find a job, and marry before having children are doing significantly better financially than those who do not follow this "success sequence."

AEI was joined in the discussion by Ron Haskins, who, along with Isabel Sawhill, wrote the original report showing that those who followed that path had more than a 90 percent chance of avoiding poverty.

AEI added to the discussion by including two educators — Ian Rowe, the CEO of Public Prep, and Michael Farkosh, the principal of Girls Prep Bronx Middle School — who offered their views on how to successfully communicate the importance of making positive life decisions to their students. Best of all was hearing from Kesi Wilson, a Girls Prep alumna and a recent high school graduate, and Daisha Rivas, who is a graduating Girls Prep Bronx scholar. These accomplished students gave us their perspectives on messages that attempt to steer them and their peers in the best direction.


All our panelists agreed that public policy and civil society must be more effective and purposeful in encouraging young people to not only finish high school and find employment but also think carefully about how best to raise children with a committed co-parent.

Listen to a livestream of the panel here.