Monday, October 13, 2008

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Governor attends high school dropout prevention summit in Pittsford – October 10, 2008
Nearly 84,000 students dropped out of New York state high schools during the 2007-08 school year. It’s a number that bothers Gov. David Paterson. “This is the prelude to a disaster” Paterson said as he spoke to 500 students, educators and local officials Friday morning at Nazareth College. Devan Caldwell is someone who understands the consequences of dropping out of high school. When he was 17 and a student at Rochester’s Jefferson High School, he became very sick with a throat infection. He missed three weeks of school and later dropped out.

Grant helps dropouts get going again
Spartanburg Herald-Journal – October 10, 2008
Spartanburg Community College on Thursday announced the receipt of a $300,000 start-up grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation to implement a national program that helps high school dropouts complete their high school diploma requirements while they also earn college credit toward an associate's degree or certificate.

Juvenile Justice

Funding announced for juvenile delinquency prevention in Native American communities
Mission Valley News – October 10, 2008
Nevada Senator Harry Reid has announced that the Walker River Paiute Tribe and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California will each receive $400,000 to support their tribal juvenile delinquency prevention efforts. The award, from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, is designed to help the tribes implement juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention programs that address the specific risks facing their communities.

Juvenile justice act credited with reduction in youth crime
Metro News – October 10, 2008
The Youth Criminal Justice Act in place since 2003, has been mostly successful according to a recent study. The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF) conducted a study of data between 2001 and 2006, and noted a drop in the number of young offenders behind bars.

Foster Care

Foster care alumni works to turn a negative into positive
Beaumont Enterprise – October 12, 2008
Ryan Dollinger remembers what is what like to not know where he was going to live next. But something took hold of Dollinger that is rare in the foster-care system. First, he decided to finish high school. Only about half of foster kids do that, he said. And second, he decided to speak out. "Kids are scared to tell social workers what's really going on," he said, adding that they fear retaliation. For Dollinger, the motivation to speak did not come until after he aged out of the system.

Treasure Coast youth inspired by "Homeless to Harvard''
TC Palm – October 10, 2008
Christina Bury, 22, could relate as she listened to Liz Murray speak about her journey from homelessness to Harvard University. Bury, of Fort Pierce, has been in jail and has experienced dire poverty. “I’ve been homeless. I slept in my car,” said Bury, who, like many former foster youth, struggled after she “aged out” of foster care at 18.

Ex-foster kids getting help to vote – October 9, 2008
Mona Perdue spent years in the Michigan foster care system. Neila Johnson has spent years as a political activist. After years of watching the state struggle to do right by youths who age out of foster care unprepared for life, the duo is getting former foster youths more involved in elections. The pair partnered to create Foster the Vote, an effort to organize former foster youths to advocate for themselves and to vote.

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