Monday, October 05, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


L.A. volunteers aim to prevent local high school dropouts
Daily News, Los Angeles, CA – September 30, 2009
Los Angeles City Year kicked off its third annual volunteer project on Wednesday, with a new goal of working to prevent high school dropouts. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa administered the organization's oath to the 150 volunteers, ages 17 to 24, during a ceremony on the steps of City Hall. "When you think about democracy, when you think about the fact that so few people are voting, that they feel cynical and don't think they can make a difference, you are showing that democracy can work," Villaraigosa said. Dressed in red and yellow jackets, the teams of young adults began the day with mild physical training and enthusiastic responses from their team leaders.

Corps work creates routine for high school dropouts

San Diego News Network, San Diego, CA – September 29, 2009
The four-man crew — quiet, adjusting to the waking world — assembles at dawn. It will be a hot day. They will work in City Heights sweeping streets, replacing trash can liners, trimming trees, and painting over graffiti. Routine is important, says Luis Cruz, a 50-something supervisor for the City Heights group. A daily agenda is what the corps members need: a path and a goal; discipline and consequence and reward. The Urban Corps is a 20-year-old nonprofit that gives paid work experience opportunities to high school dropouts and immigrant students who have little or no job training.

County schools combat high dropout rate
The Sun, San Bernardino, CA – October 4, 2009
The county superintendent of schools, along with other education and community leaders, is stepping up efforts to bring down the high number of high school dropouts in the county. The effort known as "A Call to Action: Fighting the Drop Out Rate" will determine why there are so many dropouts in the San Bernardino area and focus on creating effective outreach programs to combat the problem. "We need to take action because dropouts are more likely to engage in illegal activities which create safety risks for our communities," said County Superintendent of Schools Gary Thomas. "And the students who fail to finish school are less likely to find productive work that would allow them to sustain themselves.

Juvenile Justice

Filmmakers focus on juvenile justice reform
Casper Star Tribune, Cheyenne, WY – October 3, 2009
They've stirred controversy in Cheyenne for filming inside a juvenile detention center. In Rawlins, government officials wouldn't speak with them. Marc Homer and Chris Hume have only been working on their documentary for two months, but already, they've got some people concerned. Raising questions about the state's juvenile justice system will do that. The filmmakers are producing a feature-length documentary focused on how Wyoming deals with its young offenders. Both men believe the system is badly in need of reform and they are determined to create a movie that addresses the situation.

Federal Boost to Vt. Programs for At-Risk Youth
WCAX, Burlington, VT – September 29, 2009
Four Vermont organizations are sharing $523,000 in federal funds to help at-risk youth. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, worked to secure the money for job training and other anti-delinquency programs. Sanders calls the funds an investment in our future, to help keep young people on the right path. "I was forced to drop out of school because I got sent away. The schooling replacements were horrible. Through Youth Build, I'm earning my high school diploma and gaining skills to help me out," said James Porter, a participant in ReSource Youth Build.

Douglas County Juvenile Department gets $1.8M grant
The News-Review, Douglas County, OR – October 2, 2009
A new report confirms the experience of veteran juvenile officers and provides the information needed to insure juvenile programs actually keep kids from pursuing a life of crime. Deputy State Courts Administrator Gary Waint says this report is important to the state juvenile justice system and its Family Courts. "This is benchmark work that will begin to allow us now to trend how we're performing as a juvenile justice system," Waint says, "and inform the public about of it as well."

Foster Care

Helping out the helpers
The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD – October 4, 2009
The group of teens and twentysomethings had no problem summoning an audience for a presentation on community building recently at a West Baltimore youth center. After all, instead of offering suggestions, they're offering money. Big money. To young people just like themselves. At a time when grant givers across the country are tightening their fists amid the recession, the Baltimore-based nonprofit group Youth As Resources (YAR) is helping others their age turn ideas into initiatives with up to $3,500 in funding per project. YAR is funded by such organizations as the Baltimore Community Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Its average grant is about $2,000. Programs YAR has funded includes Foster Youth Incorporated, a group of teens in the foster care system who seek to change policy and practices in the system to ensure that all foster youth have positive foster and youth-home environments.

Lake Forest home saves teen lives
OC Register, Lake Forest, CA – September 29, 2009
For years since Chelsea Roberts was taken from her home because of abuse, she has wanted a place to call her own. Now – four years later after being placed in Orangewood Children's Home, a temporary foster home and at a group home in Mission Viejo – Roberts, 18, will be one of five young women living in a newly renovated six-bedroom home in a Lake Forest neighborhood. The house is TheTeen Project's first home for emancipated foster youth in Orange County. The project is a collaborative effort between The Teen Project, a program that provides housing and college education to homeless foster youth, and HomeAid Orange County, – a non-profit that builds and maintains housing for people rebuilding their lives.

No comments: