Monday, June 08, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Cody Chronicles: "Second Chance" Program Helps Curb Dropout Problem
WUOM 91.7, Dearborn, MI – June 8, 2009
Four o'clock on a weekday is typically not a good time to find students at a high school. But it is at Cody High in Detroit - where a lot of kids are just starting their school day. "This is Cody High School's Second Chance program," says Cody Principal Johnathon Matthews. He's looking at a lunchroom with 200 students that he says were all potential dropouts.

Coaching Students To Stay In School
Parade, South Atlanta, GA – June 7, 2009
The South Atlanta Educational Complex is a vast brick-and-glass building housing 1000 or so 9th- through 12th-graders. While its students look like those from any big-city school district, administrators estimate that about 85% come from families whose income is below the federal poverty line. In addition to getting an education, many of these teens are supporting a child or younger siblings or caring for an elderly relative or sick parent. Some are in foster care, and some are homeless. Others are children of recent immigrants who work long hours and don't know how to help them thrive academically.

Take Stock in Children celebrates by giving scholarships to 93 Miami-Dade students
Miami Herald, Miami, FL – June 7, 2009
Luco Pierre's newly won high school diploma symbolizes years of overcoming hardships and beating the odds. And now he has a four-year scholarship to help him achieve even more. Luco, 17, was one of 93 Miami-Dade high school seniors who recently received college scholarships after graduating from the Take Stock in Children Program. ''I'm a Take Stock in Children success story,'' he said during the May 28 ceremony at Miami Dade College's Chapman Center in downtown Miami. ''The fact that you know you have a secure future in college helps a lot,'' added Luco, a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School. ``It makes me feel fortunate.'' The nonprofit program is a public-private partnership aimed at reducing crime and high school dropout rates.

Diploma Isn't the Final Solution to the Dropout Crisis
AScribe, Baltimore, MD – June 4, 2009
Recent graduates from Philadelphia's public high schools had higher employment rates and higher annual earnings than their classmates who dropped out, but many of them still did not have incomes above the federal poverty line, according to a new study from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. The report suggests that although it is essential to increase high school graduation rates, "without additional postsecondary education, the effect of a high school diploma on lives and livelihoods may be rather limited."

Juvenile Justice

Turning toward juvenile justice
The News-Star, Monroe, LA – June 7, 2009
The Louisiana Legislature is currently considering a number of measures that would change the way our juvenile justice system works. Some would change the way parole is addressed for juvenile offenders. Some would change the way juvenile offenders are treated in secure care facilities. One of particular note would take a first step toward refocusing efforts on community programs addressing both public safety and effective treatment, rather than on the costly incarceration of youth.

Campbell Law Juvenile Justice Program Receives Grant from N.C. Governor’s Crime Commission
dBusinessNews, Buies Creek, NC – June 8, 2009
The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University today announced the receipt of a two-year grant in the amount of $144,904 from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission for use in the Law School’s Juvenile Justice Mediation program. This grant will enable the program to be expanded to serve Wake County when the Law School moves to its new location in downtown Raleigh in September 2009. Juvenile criminal cases from the local district are referred by the district attorney’s office, local schools or the juvenile’s defense attorney when it is determined that a case can be mediated without prosecution. The most typical crimes mediated through the program are assault and property crimes.

A Brighter Future for Kids in Juvenile Justice System
WLTX, Columbia, SC – June 4, 2009
The AMI Kids Organization has worked for forty years to change that. "Working on my attitude and my temper," said 18-year-old Courtney Jennings. "I'm doing 18 months at Camp Bennettsville, little bit of a trouble maker when I was out but now I'm changing." Jennings is attending the AMI Kids camp, and now has the feeling that there might be an even bigger reward for doing the right thing. "Coming out of the trouble, being as one, being a team," he said. The camp is on the SC State University campus. Kids participate in everything from track and field to spelling bees, academic quizzes to first aid.

Foster Care

WMU's Foster Youth program gets $500,000 grant
MLive, Kalamazoo, MI – June 5, 2009
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded Western Michigan University a $500,000 grant to support the university's Foster Youth and Higher Education program. The program, which the university initiated last fall with 51 students, provides full tuition, academic support and year-round housing to undergraduate students leaving the foster-care system. With the grant, WMU will hire a full-time director and fund a project to evaluate the program.

Program encourages foster youths to get degree
The Olympian, Olympia, WA – June 4, 2009
You know it’s an important event when six Washington governors gather in the same room to award young people a scholarship. The event takes on added significance when one of those former governors is Gary Locke, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. What brought Locke, Gov. Chris Gregoire and former governors Booth Gardner, John Spellman, Dan Evans and a late-arriving Mike Lowry together last Friday was a Seattle event to award college scholarships to 44 foster care youngsters.

Building on YouthBuild
The Herald-Palladium, Benton Harbor, MI – June 7, 2009
Two years ago, Jamie Moore dropped out of school. Michael Springer graduated from high school but then, admittedly, "went down the wrong path and made some very bad decisions." Kent Rush was working from time to time at what he says were "dead-end jobs." Shanedra Huddleston wasn't doing much of anything. "YouthBuild got me on the right track, mentally and physically, and prepared me for the real world," said Huddleston, 23, of Benton Harbor.

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