Monday, April 11, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Detroit Free Press, Michigan – April 8, 2011
After pledging its largest financial gift to increase high school graduation rates, General Motors added a human element to its pledge, saying it will provide mentors to help students achieve. Mark Reuss, GM's North American president, said in a conference call Thursday that he's asking employees to volunteer to tutor at seven Detroit-area schools targeted by the grant because of poor graduation rates.

The New York Times, Memphis, TN – April 5, 2011
Jack London was the subject in Daterrius Hamilton’s online English 3 course. In a high school classroom packed with computers, he read a brief biography of London with single-paragraph excerpts from the author’s works. But the curriculum did not require him, as it had generations of English students, to wade through a tattered copy of “Call of the Wild” or “To Build a Fire.” Mr. Hamilton, who had failed English 3 in a conventional classroom and was hoping to earn credit online to graduate, was asked a question about the meaning of social Darwinism. He pasted the question into Google and read a summary of a Wikipedia entry. He copied the language, spell-checked it and e-mailed it to his teacher.

Program helps northwest Alabama teens get GED, motivation for success
Daily Reporter, Florence, AL – April 11, 2011
For eight months, Tyler Springer rode a bus four hours back and forth each day to a court-ordered program that he often marked off as a waste of time.  Springer has a different perspective these days of the Lauderdale County Special Programming for Achievement Network program. He now says the program has turned his life around. Instead of facing a bleak future as a high school dropout, Springer, 17, is preparing to further his education.

Juvenile Justice

My San Antonio, Cheyenne, WY – April 8, 2011
Wyoming needs to establish a unified court system to handle all criminal cases involving juveniles in the state, the ACLU concludes in a report released Friday.  The report, titled "Inequality in the Equality State," also calls on Wyoming to enforce standards for juvenile detention facilities and do a better job of tracking youth rehabilitation services.
Montville Patch, Connecticut – April 9, 2011
If all goes according to plan, 17-year-olds in Connecticut will no longer be treated like adults when it comes to criminal justice.  Prior to 2010, Connecticut adjudicated 16-year-olds accused of minor crimes as adults. Yet research showed youths who go through the juvenile system are less likely to re-offend.

Foster Care

New York Daily News, New York, NY – April 8, 2011
Like many young adults her age, Jessica Jimenez is looking for her first apartment.  She's figuring out rent, calculating how she would get around, juggling figures to see how she can afford utility bills, health care and cable television. Jimenez has been in the city's foster care system since she was 8 years old. The 21-year-old will "age out" of the system in a few weeks, meaning she will be on her own. She's been appointed to the youth advisory board of New Yorkers For Children, a nonprofit group that provides college scholarships, tutoring programs, job training, mentoring and networking opportunities for children in the foster care system.

Union-Tribune, California – April 7, 2011
California legislators have introduced a bill to give former foster youth priority registration in the Cal State system, but Cal State San Marcos in North County has been ahead of the curve for several years now. The San Marcos university began giving priority registration and housing to former foster youth in 2008. It also helps those students through its ACE Scholar Services program, which stands for Achieving College Excellence, and with things like scholarships and time-management courses.

News-Press, Florida – April 6, 2011
They play fight. They fall backward without knowing who will catch them. They tell each other their deepest, darkest secrets.  For the last eight months, the students in Michelle Hayford's Theatre Lab at FGCU have worked as hard on the skill of trust as they have on writing and staging "Suit My Heart," which premiered Wednesday.  Told in dialogue, song, dance, video and movement, this ensemble-created performance piece is onstage at the lab theater at FGCU's arts complex through April 17.  "Suit My Heart" was inspired by the stories of girls and adults involved with Footsteps to the Future, a Lee County nonprofit that helps young women who are transitioning out of foster care.

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