Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


CBS 4 Denver, Cheyenne, WY – November 19, 2010
Officials at a Wyoming National Guard program that helps high school dropouts get back on track with six months of exercise, coursework and community service literally have been knocking on doors to recruit new cadets.  Wyoming Youth ChalleNGe officials say their efforts are paying off.  The voluntary program at Camp Guernsey in southeast Wyoming has been averaging just 30 to 40 cadets since it was started in Wyoming in 2006. Twenty-three are enrolled in the fall class and preparing to graduate Dec. 11.

Twin Cities Daily Planet, Minneapolis, MN – November 20, 2010
Deneazra Burns wants to "break stereotypes" about teen moms: teen moms are not all high school dropouts and don't become pregnant to get attention. They're just trying to finish school and do well for themselves and their child.  Burns attends Broadway High School in Minneapolis, an alternative high school devoted to pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers finishing their high school education. It also emphasizes the importance of mother-child relationships with morning childcare lessons and day care facilities.

The Boston Globe, Brockton, MA – November 21, 2010
The air conditioning was a sign of things to come. At 548,000 square feet, as large as a small aircraft carrier, Brockton High School had every modern convenience when its newest building opened in 1970. It was also plagued by low test scores and a high dropout rate. But as Brockton High celebrates its 40th anniversary, the students’ performance has caught up to the state-of-the-art facilities. The 4,400 students hail from more than 50 countries; more than one-third speak a language other than English at home; and 70 percent come from low-income households. Yet Brockton High has been designated a model school by The International Center for Leadership in Education for seven straight years. The school made US News & World Report’s list of America’s best high schools in 2007 and 2009, and has been the subject of recent glowing reports by The New York Times and CBS Evening News.  The key, said Anna Bradfield, Bridgewater State University’s dean of education and allied learning, is the cooperation of the school administration, teachers, parents, students, and the community at large.  Brockton, like other lower-income cities, faces distinctive challenges such as latchkey kids who are alone most of the time because a parent may be working extra jobs, or perhaps struggling with drugs and alcohol.  The answer lies in wrap-around services outside of school hours.

Juvenile Justice

State applauds Kane Juvenile Justice Center
Geneva Sun, Kane County, IL – November 19, 2010
The Kane County Juvenile Justice Center has received high praise from the state.  The St. Charles Township-based facility complies with all juvenile justice standards and has made several improvements since last year, an annual inspection report said.  In addition, the report praised Rick Anselme, superintendent of the facility, for his team’s ability to keep residents — who can be volatile and have a propensity to become violent — engaged in programs and out of segregated confinement.

DA plans student outreach program
Citizens Voice, Luzerne County, PA – November 18, 2010
Luzerne County District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll will debut an educational outreach program aimed at junior high school students next week in Nanticoke, her office said Tuesday.  Musto Carroll, a member of the Juvenile Justice Task Force formed in the wake of the Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" scandal, will speak to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders on Monday at the Greater Nanticoke Area High School.  The program, marketed as 2Smart4Trbl, is designed to dispel myths and misinformation about delinquent acts while educating youth about the juvenile justice system and the ramifications of illegal activity.

Florence teens learn life skills at youth summit
WMBF News, Florence, SC – November 20, 2010
While most kids spend their Saturday mornings sleeping in, teens in the Pee Dee got up bright and early to attend a summit that aims to empower South Carolina's youth.  The 5th Annual Village at Work Youth Empowerment Summit was held at the Florence Civic Center Saturday morning. This was the first time it was held in the Pee Dee Region in the history of the event.  The summit is a product of The Community DMC Reduction Project, an initiative of the Children's Law Center of the University of South Carolina.  It seeks to promote alternatives to the use of detention centers for non-violent minority youth groups.

Foster Care

Helping foster teens transition to adulthood
Miami Herald, Miami Dade County, FL – November 19, 2010
M.A.P.S., short for "Mentor, Attorney and Peer Support,'' is a program that brings together the nonprofit group Lawyers For Children America and former foster care youth to provide advocacy and mentoring to current foster teens who will soon age out of the system.  The law firm of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod recently welcomed new M.A.P.S. participants and generously donated computers to all of the foster teens who are currently involved in the project. These computers will enable recipients to conduct research, navigate the Internet, complete school assignments and build additional skill sets that will assist them in future career planning.

The Good Samaritan Boys Ranch Opens New Living Facility
KSMU NPR Public Radio, Missouri – November 16, 2010
The Good Samaritan Boys Ranch opened a brand new home for boys on Tuesday morning, marking the first phase in their development of a new campus. Justin Lux has the report.  The boy’s ranch oversees the Footsteps Transitional Living program. Many of the boys here are aging out of the foster care system.  For 20-year old Josh Snyder, the transitional living program has been an absolute blessing.

On Their Own: Aging out of Foster Care
KWCH News, Wichita, KS – November 15, 2010
At age 18, you may be considered an adult but that doesn't mean you're ready to be on your own. For hundreds of Kansans, that doesn't matter. They age out of foster care and it's up to them to follow through getting help. We introduce you to two area teens trying to make it on their own.  Everybody has a story and for some Kansas kids the early chapters are not pretty. "My mom smoked crack, drank and smoked pot every day she was pregnant with me," said former foster child Modia Evans. "There wasn't any safe place for me," another former foster child Jonathan Miller.  The themes of Miller and Evans' stories are similar, both grew up without their parents. Evans bounced between extended family until entering foster care at age 17. "I was living like a foster kid before I got into the system," she said. Miller entered the foster care system at age three. "Obviously I hated foster care and I didn't want to be in it," Miller said.

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