After a few years of improvement, the global youth unemployment rate has returned to a level close to its all-time high, according to new data from the International Labor Organization. An estimated 71 million young people ages 15-24 are currently looking for work but can’t find it.

Ambitions Interrupted: 35 Dream Jobs” is a digital media project from The GroundTruth Project’s YouthVoices initiative that celebrates the humanity of youth who are not giving up despite the grim numbers. Their stories demonstrate the remarkable in the unremarkable – the resilience and personal triumphs within the difficult journey from education to employment and, perhaps, landing a dream job.

In March, The GroundTruth Project, in partnership with RTI International, the Global Center for Youth Employment and The Huffington Post, asked young people from around the world, “What is your dream job? What’s standing in your way?” A panel of judges selected these 35 winners from hundreds of compelling entries from dozens of countries. 

The 35 are working to become farmers, doctors, journalists, engineers and diplomats. They represent the human potential behind the sky-high youth unemployment rates, economic inequality and political disenchantment. They are the real voices of youth demonstrating the power of their own stories. 

We invite you to share your own story and opinions on the YouthVoices platform.


35 Dream Jobs

With global youth unemployment on the rise, we asked young people around the world to share their experiences as they look for meaningful work. These 35 stories celebrate the resilience and personal triumphs within the difficult journey from education to employment.

Unemployment Map

Explore layers of data to visualize the state of global youth unemployment. 71 million young people are unemployed and at least 156 million young people with jobs still live in poverty, according to the International Labor Organization.

Meet the Judges

Ten judges from journalism and youth development fields sifted through hundreds of stories. They chose 35 based on their storytelling ability and personal character.

Project Supported By