Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Food insecurity high among emerging adults from Minnesota

November 11, 2020 – Older Youth

New research published in Public Health Nutrition examined the impacts of COVID on emerging adults’ food insecurity (mean age = 24), and on how food security status is linked to other experiences among this population. The authors found elevated rates of food insecurity in this group, and that food insecure participants were less likely to report having fresh produce at home, were more likely to report frequent fast food consumption, and were more likely to feel unsafe in their own neighborhoods. Participants identified more food assistance and relief funds as important supports for their health. The study recruited participants from an earlier longitudinal study of Minnesota young people (in secondary school in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in 2010 to 2018), for participation in an online survey. (Respondents were more diverse in income and racial-ethnic identity than the overall population of that region). #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Childhood exposure to the EITC associated with better health in young adulthood

October 20, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new study in the Journal of Public Economics evaluates the long-term impact of exposure to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from ages 0-18 on health outcomes of young adults ages 22-27. Researchers used data from the 1968- 2017 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative household survey that has followed a group of households and their descendants since 1968. The authors measure EITC exposure as the maximum federal and state credit a family could receive based on their state, family size, and the year. They choose to model the effects of being “exposed to” the EITC (rather than actual amount received) so as to preserve the models’ ability to separate the EITC’s effects from family income (since the two measures would be too closely related to be included in a single model). Findings suggest the availability of the EITC during childhood was associated with higher self-reported health and lower obesity among young adults.

Pandemic interrupts post-high school plans for some, disproportionately for low income students

October 20, 2020 – Older Youth

New results from a nationally representative poll of high-achieving 2020 high school graduates finds that as of August, most students were continuing to pursue their post-high school plans of attending college. Almost 9-in-10 students applied to at least one college, and 86 percent were accepted to at least one (results collected before actual college attendance). However, the results diverged when researchers stratified the sample by ever having received free and reduced-price lunch: 47 percent who had subsidized meals had changed their plans due to COVID, compared with 28 percent who never had. Potential changes include attending a school closer to home, attending a two-year school instead of a four-year, and for 9 percent of low-income respondents, deciding to forgo college attendance altogether (compared with 5 percent of higher income students). The article suggests that the effects of these decisions are yet unknown, but could have similar long-term earnings impacts to those documented among millennials who came of age during the Great Recession. #covid-19 #education

Full-time enrollment in higher education is down across New England

October 16, 2020 – Older Youth

The Boston Globe describes fall 2020 higher-education enrollment at colleges and universities across New England. According to the New England Commission of Higher Education, full-time enrollment is down by more than 20 percent at over two dozen higher-education institutions in the region. Another 50 New England institutions report enrollment declines between 10 and 20 percent as compared with last year. These declines will accelerate financial pressures on institutions and also signal that current and potential students, perhaps especially low-income students, are finding college out of reach amid the pandemic. #covid-19 #education

Solar-powered mobile hotspots bring internet to rural Virginia for remote learning

October 15, 2020 – Older Youth

Rural stakeholders continue creative provision of internet hotspots to support remote learning into the new school year. The Daily Yonder reports that school officials in rural Louisa County in Virginia initially used hotspots on school buses but struggled to secure a consistent power source. To address this, the school district’s technology director proposed mobile solar-powered hotspots. These “Wireless on Wheels” units cost around $3,000 apiece to create and are designed to continue running even on cloudy days. #covid-19 #rural #education

Young Workers Disproportionately Affected by Pandemic Job Loss

October 14, 2020 – Older Youth

New research from the Economic Policy Institute finds that workers age 16-24—always especially vulnerable in a recession—have been particularly hard-hit during the COVID related recession. Unemployment rates among this group rose from 8.4 percent in spring 2019 to 24.4 percent in spring 2020. Young workers are doubly disadvantaged by their concentration in industries hard-hit by this recession, as well as their exclusion from formal unemployment protections. Authors caution that the effects of this recession on young workers could persist over the longer-term. #covid-19 #workforce

Strategies for school-community partnerships to reduce digital divide

September 17, 2020 – Older Youth

A new post from Brookings details ways that schools can benefit from partnership with local communities to address the digital inequalities that are critically relevant to learners in the COVID context. Specific strategies include repurposing space from shuttered businesses for small-group/cohort-based classroom purposes; encouraging businesses to donate (or offer at low cost) computers or office furniture to schools in exchange for tax credits; and intentionally providing Wi-Fi hot spots in homeless shelters and subsidized housing settings. The authors posit that creative thinking is necessary for reimagining schooling in ways that intentionally disrupt the pandemic’s exacerbation of inequality. #covid-19 #education

College enrollment declines, especially among disadvantaged students

September 16, 2020 – Older Youth

The Washington Post describes early signs of disproportionate college enrollment declines and higher dropouts among low-income students, students of color, and rural students. Declines in enrollment are greatest at community colleges. College enrollment increased during the Great Recession and tends to increase in any economic downturn, although the opposite is happening in the current pandemic-related recession. Some key reasons for this include concerns about exposure to the virus, lost income prohibiting enrollment, and challenges with virtual classes such as insufficient access to broadband and other technology at home. As enrollment declines unevenly, concerns about perpetuating inequality abound. #covid-19 #education #racialequity #rural

Mathematica study models risks in back to school strategies for use by school decisionmakers

September 16, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Mathematica worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct simulations of a model predicting the spread of COVID-19 in schools under different local circumstances (including local community infection rate) and operating procedures. A substantial finding from these simulations is that the strategies of wearing masks and reducing student contact outside of class do help meaningfully reduce the spread of COVID-19. Researchers found that these precautions combined with a part-time hybrid school operation strategy were very effective. The report outlines different scenarios and operating procedures that school decisionmakers can use to inform their approaches. #covid-19 #education

Older youth need targeted messaging that presents safe ways to interact with peers

September 16, 2020 – Older Youth

In a new article in The Conversation, researchers from the University of Michigan share their findings from a survey of youth ages 14-24 and their experiences during the pandemic. Although this survey was not designed to be nationally representative, its qualitative nature allows researchers a deeper view into youth perspectives. Researchers found that, although youth are taking COVID-19 seriously, misunderstandings about best practices in social distancing have contributed to more risky behaviors. Over half of survey respondents learned about COVID-19 from media geared towards adults and authors suggest that more targeted messaging for this age group could help spread accurate information. As socialization is important for youth mental health, it is crucial to present young people with safe opportunities to interact, and the information necessary to do so safely. #covid-19

Broadband providers create new program to connect low-income students to internet

September 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

In the wake of inaction from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the broadband industry commits to support low-income students with their new K-12 Bridge to Broadband program. The program will identify households that have chosen to not subscribe to broadband, which is often for cost-related reasons. Then the broadband industry will offer a special rate to school districts and local entities to cover discounted broadband service for these households. #covid-19 #education

Many young adults live with their parents

September 15, 2020 – Older Youth

The U.S. Census Bureau used new Current Population Survey data to examine the living situations of people aged 25 to 34 and to document how these living arrangements intersect with poverty status. The analysis found that 17.8 percent of those 25-34 lived with their parent(s) in 2019. These young adults ages had a lower poverty rate (at 5.3 percent) than the poverty rate for their age group overall (at 10 percent). If these same young adults did not share a household, their poverty rate would be more than six times higher, at 36.3 percent. Household sharing reduces poverty among parents though too: among families living with related children age 25-34, poverty would be more than twice as high without those young adults’ income in the family. Rates of household sharing among young adults have increased substantially in the pandemic, as evidenced by earlier work from the Pew Research Center.