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Why 19 to 29?

A key component of Making Ourselves Matter Services Society (MOMSS) is having a client base only between the ages of 19 and 29. Studies identify this age group as the developmental stage when people choose their life patterns and are most open to change. 1

According to a study conducted by psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, this targeted age group has a better chance of succeeding than any other age, making it an ideal stage to offer hope.2 Emerging adults are often open to exploring new possibilities and can thus be more accepting of new skills and methods.3

Often, even more than others within their age bracket, marginalized women between the ages of 19 to 29 do not believe they are prepared for the daily responsibilities of adulthood. Without the opportunity, resources, and skills to transition from adolescence to adulthood, many never do. This program utilizes this key strategic time of their lives to help them work towards becoming successful adults.

Based on his research, James Côté, a sociology professor and author of Arrested Development, wrote that emerging adults themselves described it as a "quarter-life crisis" due to the stress and anxiety they feel, especially those with the least economic, psychological, and intellectual resources.4

Mel Levine, renowned pediatrician, learning expert, and author of Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, wrote that today's twenty-something’s do not really know themselves; they:

  • Lack the insights and abilities necessary for the transition into the workplace
  • Lack an inner sense of direction
  • Lack the ability to interpret the world around them
  • Lack organizational and decision-making skills
  • Lack communication and alliance-building skills.5



1 Jeffrey Arnett, "A Longer Road to Adulthood," in Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties, 3-25 (Oxford UP, 2004).
2 Arnett, A Longer Road, 3-25.
3 Arnett, A Longer Road, 3-25.
4 Sandra Whitehead, "Emerging Adulthood," Dominion Enterprises, http://www.parenthood.com/article-topics/emerging_adulthood.html/full-view (accessed June 24, 2010).
5 Whitehead, Emerging Adulthood, (accessed June 24, 2010).

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
- Oliver Wendell