Monday, October 03, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Maryland graduation rate at record 87%
The Washington Post, Maryland – September 30, 2011
Eighty-seven percent of Maryland students in the Class of 2011 received a high school diploma last spring, the highest graduation rate on record, according to state data released Friday.

Graduation Matters: Success in life starts in high school, freshmen told 

Missoulian, Missoula County, MT – September 27, 2011
Nearly 1,000 high school freshmen took a seat in an uncommon venue Tuesday morning to hear what will become a common message for their next four years: Graduation matters.

Massachusetts considers raising school dropout age
Taunton Daily Gazette, Boston, MA – September 26, 2011
They can’t legally drink, smoke, vote or sign a contract, but 16-year-olds in Massachusetts can drop out of school without their parents’ consent.  A new push to raise the dropout age from 16 to 18 comes at a time when close to 70 percent of high school graduates nationwide are choosing college, and there is fierce competition for jobs.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice commissioner says community is vital to department’s mission
The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA – September 29, 2011
Having a close connection to the community is vital to the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice’s mission, says Commissioner Amy Howell.  “Our function is to keep our communities safe and our young people safe and to turn them out in better shape than they came in,” Howell said Wednesday during a visit to Dalton’s Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC).

Changing the focus of juvenile justice
Argus Leader, Minnehaha County, SD – Septmeber 30, 2011
Minnehaha County is locking up fewer delinquent juveniles for petty offenses than it did a year ago, but officials tasked with finding alternatives to detention say there's still work to do.

Foster Care

Former Foster Kids Get A Helping Hand
KERO23, Bakersfield, CA – October 1, 2011
Imagine starting out on your own with nothing. That’s exactly what foster kids have to do when they turn 18. But Saturday they got help from the community.  Stephanie Ortega is a former foster child.  "It’s very hard going through foster care because you don’t have that stability," Ortega said.

Donation Drive to Help Foster Teens Become Independent
Fox26, Fresno, CA – October 2, 2011
Volunteers load an old dresser and a couple lawn chairs into a storage unit – donations for local foster teens.  "It's a big responsibility. Especially when you don't have a family or you don't have people to rely on.  It's real hard and the programs that they provide you helps out a lot," said Sade Brown, who is a beneficiary of the donation drive.

D.C. Group Helps Foster Children Succeed After Emancipation
WAMU 88.5, Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2011
When D.C.'s children in foster care reach age 18, many begin to leave the system in a process called emancipation. Without continued support, some of these so-called 'foster kids' will fail as they become adults; but one local group is helping provide them with a leg up.

Teen Pregnancy

Study aims to reduce teen pregnancy among Montgomery Hispanics
Maryland Community News, Maryland – September 28, 2011
A multi-year county study focused on reducing teenage pregnancy among Hispanics began this week, as new statistics show a gap between pregnancy rates for Hispanic teens and others has widened.

Education key to lower teen birth rates
The Star Democrat, Cambridge, MD – October 2, 2011
It's a touchy subject, often discussed under the topic of adolescent health, but adolescent pregnancy is one of the biggest concerns for women's health, according to Dr. Kevin Kearney at Choptank Community Health Services' Women's Health Center in Cambridge.

Low funding, budget cuts may contribute to rise in teen pregnancy locally
ENC Today, North Carolina – October 2, 2011
Young girls who are barely old enough to operate a car are having to take the wheel of not only their future but that of their children.  Though teen pregnancy rates are slightly dropping around the country, the numbers are still high and it’s becoming more and more commonplace, depicted in popular television shows such as “16 and Pregnant,” “Teen Mom” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”  

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