Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Newark school offers alternative path to learning
Newark Live, Newark, NJ – September 1, 2009
Urban Academy, an alternative high school that opens here this week, has no tests, no grades and few textbooks. But that's not what interested Dario McNeil, 16, one of the incoming students. He's excited about the internship that's a required part of the curriculum. "I like hands-on. That's how you learn," McNeil said. "They are offering something I cannot get out of regular high school."

A Path To College for High School Dropouts
KCBS, San Francisco, CA – August 28, 2009
Students who don’t finish high school are being given a second chance at education through a new program at City College of San Francisco. The community college is one of 24 institutions across the nation participating in the Gateway to College Program funded with seed money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

U-46 superintendent writes to dropouts
Daily Herald, Elgin, IL – August 27, 2009
After a successful campaign last year, Elgin Area School District U-46 Superintendent Jose Torres has mailed off another round of letters to high school dropouts. The 44 letters, sent to students across the district 17 or younger who notified their schools they would not be returning this fall, point to the benefits of a high school diploma.

Juvenile Justice

Ind. expert: Arrests more likely for black youth
Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis, IN – August 27, 2009
Juvenile justice experts said Thursday that the racial disparity in young offenders in Indiana is alarming and cited new data that shows black youth are far more likely to be placed in detention centers than whites when arrested for similar offenses. About 200 judges, social workers and other experts from Indiana and other states gathered in Indianapolis to discuss how to handle the state's racial disparities in the arrest and prosecution of juveniles. The meeting was an outgrowth of a state commission's report in October about youth services in the state.

Teen offenders find a future in Missouri
CNN.com, Missouri – August 27, 2009
Getting arrested for stealing cars after his 16th birthday may be the best thing that ever happened to Terrence Barkley. It got him out of gangs and headed to college. While in one of Missouri's juvenile facilities, Barkley became editor of its student newspaper, captain of the football team and made the honor roll. "I wanted something different for myself or I'd end up in Kansas City doing nothing. I knew I could do something," said Barkley, who is the first in his family to go to college. Now he's a sophomore studying criminal justice at the University of Central Missouri.

Foster Care

Local leaders make foster care a top priority
KNDO, Yakima, WA – August 28, 2009
Community leaders are trying to keep more foster children out of prison and focused on school and brighter futures. The Casey Family Programs is investing $8.3 million in Washington to help make sure foster families are providing the best care for children and leading them in the right direction. Last year, more than 7,000 children entered into the foster care system. According to state studies, 25 percent of those kids will become incarcerated by the age of 18 and many will never finish school.

Project Prevention to Visit Detroit to Help Addicts
South West News Herald, Illinois – August 28, 2009
Gov. Pat Quinn signed a series of bills Tuesday designed to enhance and improve child welfare services in Illinois. These bills, Quinn said, enable the Department of Children and Family Services to better support families in need, strengthen relationships between parents and children, and build better futures for youth transitioning from state care to adult independence.

Program helps foster teens transition to adulthood
Times-Georgian, Douglas County, GA - August 26, 2009
“Independent living” is usually a term associated with senior adults. However, Georgia’s Independent Living Program (ILP) is a program to help foster children make a successful transition to adulthood. Joyce Atwell, Region 17 Independent Living coordinator, and Gina Kuykendall, GHK Public Relations, spoke about ILP at the noon lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Douglas County. Region 17 includes Cobb, Douglas and Cherokee counties. ILP serves teens ages 14-21 who have been placed in foster care, youth who have been adopted after the age of 14, youth in custody of Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) for a minimum of six months and a ward of the state on or after the 14th birthday, youth with open welfare placement cases as well as open delinquency case, youth in DFCS custody up to 18 years of age and developmentally disabled youths. The program is part of the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) and is funded by federal and state dollars.

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