Monday, November 02, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Durham Tech, DPS to target dropout
The Durham News, Durham, NC – October 28, 2009
Durham Technical Community College received a $300,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last week to work on a high school dropout recovery program. The college will partner with Durham Public Schools for "Gateway to College." The program gives high school dropouts a second chance to complete their high school diploma while also earning college credits.

Governor's dropout prevention commission incorporates local State Reps educational ideas
South Coast Today, New Bedford, MA – October 29, 2009
State Representatives Stephen R. Canessa (D-New Bedford) and John F. Quinn (D-Dartmouth) are encouraged by the recent release of the Massachusetts Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission Report. The report outlines strategies for meeting the complex issues surrounding high school dropout rates, including raising the minimum age a student can withdraw from school from 16 years of age to 18 years, a long-time educational objective for both representatives. Working with the South Coast Education Compact, the representatives first filed legislation recognizing the contributing influence of the withdrawal age on high school dropout rates during the 2005-2006 legislative session.

Program helps dropouts graduate
The Omaha World-Herald, Omaha, NE – October 27, 2009
A phone call from someone at the Omaha Public Schools has helped about 60 students — nearly all of them former high school dropouts — try to get their education back on track. The district started a program this fall that allows district residents between the ages of 17 and 21 to return to school, on their own schedule and free of charge.

Juvenile Justice

Pennsylvania Overturns Many Youths’ Convictions
The New York Times, Pennsylvania – October 29, 2009
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday overturned thousands of juvenile-offender convictions handed down by a judge now charged in a corruption scandal. The judge, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, and Michael T. Conahan, a fellow judge who for a time was the chief of that court, are charged with taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks from the owner of two privately run youth detention centers in exchange for their sending teenagers there.

New mental health program aimed at helping juveniles
The Courier, Mongomery County, AL – November 2, 2009
With around 40 percent of juvenile offenders in Montgomery County on some sort of psychotropic medication – such as antidepressants – officials believe a new mental health diversion program will get those young offenders the help they need.

Montgomery County’s Juvenile Probation Department, in collaboration with Tri-County Mental Health Mental Retardation, has started a program to ensure juvenile offenders with mental health issues get treatment and counseling, instead of detaining them, Director Ron Leach said.

Foster Care

After years in foster care, student plans career in social work
Columbus Local News, Columbus, OH – October 30, 2009
It's not where you start, it's where you finish, according to 19-year old Tabitha Bowen. Bowen, a sophomore at Ohio Dominican University majoring in social work, is keeping busy with her classes and her various activities on campus. She said she would like to use her degree in social work, once completed, to work as an international social worker. She is participating in the Casey Family Program, which is studying and researching what it is like to grow up in foster care, and will be attending its national conference Nov. 16-18 in Jacksonville, Fla.

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