Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership


This qualitative study analyzed how leaders from the public, private, philanthropic, and educational sectors view the complex issue of cross-sector collaboration addressing disconnected youth in Westchester County, New York. The research explored participants’ perceptions about this population, also known as opportunity youth, who are ages 16 to 24 and not in school, employed, or on-track to successfully transitioning to adult independence. The study used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as its methodology to explore, examine, and interpret how leaders perceive the complex and challenging issue of disconnected youth who are living in a suburban county in the New York metropolitan region. Findings revealed that how participants defined the problem and viewed interconnections and interdependencies among the sectors were major themes related to cross-sector collaboration focused on reconnecting disconnected youth. Study results suggest cross-sector collaborative influence development should include: (a) a convening table or forum where leaders can share experiences related to their experiences with the issue; (b) identification of common threads among sectors related to disconnected youth as a target population; (c) finding overlapping value propositions by examining how each sector defines value ; and (d) development of interlocking goals that provide greater incentives for collaboration across the sectors.

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