Addressing the problem of gaps in services for young adults on Martha’s Vineyard will require a broad-based community effort, including mentorships, affordable rentals and a strong network of mental health services.

This is the conclusion of a followup report from ACE MV on a rural scholars study done last fall focusing on opportunities for young adults on the Vineyard. In that study, eight medical students from the University of Massachusetts interviewed Islanders aged 16-20 who may be disconnected from the larger community. The study found that many late teenagers and young adults are at risk due to a lack of career and educational opportunities.

Because the study was only a snapshot, ACE MV executive director Holly Bellebuono said her nonprofit organization decided to take the work further this year by reconvening the many stakeholders who interviewed by the rural scholars.

The result is the report Next Steps for Martha’s Vineyard: Recommendations to Expand Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults. It includes summaries of concerns expressed by 55 to 60 community members, including young adults and participants from the Boys and Girls Club, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, the high school and charter school, Island Grown Initiative and Food Pantry.

The report will be made available across a variety of sectors on the Island: town governments, schools, commercial businesses and nonprofit organizations. Island residents can get involved through actions ranging from mentorship for professional development to offering affordable rental options to young adults seeking places to live.

“The way we’re going to make our action effective is to keep it really local . . . We’ll keep things Island-based and involve local people, families. Keeping it local should spark more interest,” Ms. Bellebuono said.

She noted that some of the work will build on existing programs, and said creating a network of mentors and connecting adult professionals with young people is an area where ACE MV can play a strong role. The agency already has an active workforce internship program that it can build on to create a wider mentorship program.

“If we can be a force behind building personal relationships, that would be a good way for us to go. Relationships with caring adults has so much influence,” Ms. Bellebuono said.

The Next Steps report appears on the ACE MV wesbite.