Monday, October 18, 2010

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


The New York Times – October 10, 2010
The education gap facing the nation’s work force is evident in the numbers. Most new jobs will require more than a high school education, yet fewer than half of Americans under 30 have a postsecondary degree of any kind. Recent state budget cuts, education experts agree, promise to make closing that gap even more difficult. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and four nonprofit education organizations are beginning an ambitious initiative to address that challenge by accelerating the development and use of online learning tools.

The San Fernando Valley Sun, San Fernando Valley, CA – October 13, 2010
San Fernando High School and Pacoima Middle School are among 12 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) schools taking part in a five-year, $11.3 million Federal High School Graduation Incentive Grant program to lower dropout rates and boost student recovery efforts.  Joining San Fernando and Pacoima are Belmont, Gardena, Fremont, Huntington Park and Dorsey high schools, and John Liechty, Peary, Bethune, Gage and Audubon middle schools.

The Examiner, Brunswick, GA – October 16, 2010
Sixteen-year-old Nykeer Brown, a Brunswick High School junior, is doing better in school now than she ever imagined.  Not only is she scheduled to graduate on time in May 2012, but she's even working toward her goal of graduating a semester early, December 2011.  After struggling with low grades when she was at Jane Macon Middle School a few years ago and categorized as an at-risk student, Nykeer was identified for a program called Focus Graduation. The program falls under the umbrella of the nonprofit organization Communities in Schools - one of the nation's leading community based, drop-out prevention organizations that helps students succeed in school and prepare for life.

Juvenile Justice

The State, South Carolina – October 14, 2010
When the Department of Juvenile Justice demolished a dilapidated dormitory last month, it was the latest visible sign of the remarkable transformation the agency has undergone.  Just as the agency has begun constructing new buildings, it also has been rebuilding young lives. DJJ, once simply a warehouse for young lawbreakers, has become a place where lost young souls can expect a genuine effort to rehabilitate them in preparation for a second chance.

Winston-Salem Journal, North Carolina – October 17, 2010
North Carolina is the only state in the union that still requires all 16- and 17-year-olds to be tried as adults regardless of their offense, and advocacy groups want that to change.  “It does not make sense to treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the adult system,” said Barb Bradley, the president and CEO of Action For Children North Carolina, at a forum yesterday in Winston-Salem. Adolescents, she said, “don’t have that capacity in your brain to understand the consequences of some of your actions.”

Foster Care

PR Newswire, Schaumburg, IL – October 13, 2010
There is no denying that teenagers in the foster care system need special support so they can begin to develop the skills that will take them successfully into adulthood. The Coalition for At-Risk Youth (CARRY) was founded by Dr. Grimes in 2005 with the goal of providing opportunities for children and teens with skin diseases and other medical issues. Through CARRY, Dr. Grimes offers a wide range of services for youth who enter the program. Scholarships, mentoring, self-esteem workshops and a number of other individually targeted efforts underscore the organizations commitment to improving the outlook of teens with medical problems - one child at a time.

WCBD Channel 2, South Carolina – October 12, 2010
Thousands of children in South Carolina, victims of neglect and abuse, need permanent homes. A program is putting the problem in focus, an effort to help these children find forever families. Special portrait walls at Trident and Summerville Medical Centers are helping foster care children find forever families.  The South Carolina Heart Gallery is a program of the Governor's Office Children's Foster Care Review Board and South Carolina Department of Social Services.  Millie Qualls says, “If we don't find families for them, they age out of foster care, and statistics show very clearly, children who exit the foster care system at age 18 with no connections, it's very difficult. They haven't benefited from the love and nurture most kids do, and they may be homeless.”

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