Monday, August 10, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Group formed to combat dropout rate
Tuscaloosa News, Tuscaloosa, AL – August 6, 2009
Representatives from 16 city, state and community agencies met Wednesday at Bethel Baptist Church for the fourth Alabama State Department of Education dropout prevention meeting. At the meeting, ideas were exchanged, solutions were suggested, and a new organization was formed to combat the city’s high school dropout rate. The Community Solution Network will address the needs of students identified as at-risk, in hopes of preventing them from dropping out, said Zack Barnes, director of graduation success and dropout prevention for the Tuscaloosa City School System.

Job Front: At-risk teens create garden, grow job skills
The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA – August 10, 2009
Shamar Armstrong dug the shovel into the hard-packed earth behind Elinor Hickey School, then jumped, the full weight of his fullback-size frame stomping the shovel into the ground, carving out an irrigation line one blade-width at a time. For the past five weeks, the 16-year-old Armstrong and 32 of his classmates have been hard at work building a community garden at the Ethan Way campus. They will unveil the garden on Friday.

Juvenile Justice

National Initiative Keeping Youths Out of Jail, Report Says
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. – August 6, 2009
A national juvenile justice initiative is helping reduce the number of young offenders being jailed after arrest, according to a new report by the foundation that has backed the effort. But in the District, where the number of juveniles detained had been dropping since the Justice Detention Alternatives Initiative was put in place in 2005, there has been an increase this year, officials said.

Great improvements seen at Santa Clara County juvenile ranches
Mercury News, Santa Clara County, CA – August 7, 2009
Santa Clara County has transformed its military-style boot camps for juvenile offenders into homey ranches that are safer and more conducive to treatment, according to a new analysis from a renowned criminal justice research center. Designed for youth committing violent or repeated crimes who would otherwise head for tougher state facilities, the county ranches had long been considered failures — criticized for everything from how they warehoused kids to endemic violence and high recividism rates. However, in a report released this week, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency praises the overhaul of the two youth ranches, located in rural south San Jose and Morgan Hill.

Foster Care

TCC lends hand to foster-care children
Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, FL – August 8, 2009
Tallahassee Community College, along with several child-advocacy agencies, has created a program that will give support to foster-care teens who have aged out of the system. Five 18- and 19-year-old students will begin the program this Wednesday. It's a multi-year commitment by both the students and the program to ensure each student graduates with an associate degree — and possibly a bachelor's degree.

First Steps center gives Oakland foster youth their own space
The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA – August 7, 2009
Gina Velarde loves spending time at the First Steps Community Resource Center and often is there every weekday from the time it opens at 10 a.m. to closing at 6 p.m. The center is an extension of First Place for Youth, which provides housing, education and employment services to foster youths when they age out of the system at 18. The First Place administrative building in downtown Oakland was running out of space for many of its programs, and the youths needed their own space, said Sam Cobbs, executive director of First Place for Youth. They also wanted a place that was welcoming to the public and not an office building.

Overloaded charities get federal stimulus money
American-Statesman, Austin, TX – August 10, 2009
Vanesha Alexander wants to pay her own way. The 22-year-old Austin mother works at Austin Energy and lives on a tight budget. She saves her money. And she eventually wants to move out of the apartment that she rents with help from a local nonprofit group. New federal stimulus money flowing into local nonprofits may help her do just that. Four Austin agencies that serve homeless and low-income people recently received a combined

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