Monday, November 28, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Job Shadow Event part of $100 Million effort by AT&T and Junior Achievement to help reduce high school drop-out rate
Milwaukee Courier, Milwaukee, WI – November 25, 2011
Milwaukee high school students learned about the importance of staying in school from Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) and local AT&T employees as part of a day-long Junior Achievement (JA) job shadowing event.

Detroit Tackles Dropout Crisis By Engaging Students, Parents
PBS Newshour, Detroit, MI – November 25, 2011
Over the next 18 months, the NewsHour and other public media partners are examining the consequences of, and solutions for, one of this country's most pressing education issues. The project is called American Graduate. Tonight, a look at Detroit, where four out of 10 children don't graduate.

Cash-strapped school districts struggle to improve access to higher education for students, Bloomingdale, MI – November 27, 2011
Ask a classroom of seventh-graders at Bloomingdale Middle School how many intend to go to college, and every hand in the room flies up.

Juvenile Justice

Right on Crime and the Conservative Focus on Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Texas – November 25, 2011
For years, many people have considered juvenile justice reform a dyed-blue plank in the liberal platform. However, deep in the heart of the red state of Texas, one conservative organization has adopted the issue as a major policy concern heading into the 2012 election season.

Taylor County youth to be tried as adults now won't necessarily be jailed with adults 
Reporter News, Texas – November 26, 2011
In 29 states a loophole in a federal law allows juveniles facing prosecution as adults to be kept in county jails instead of juvenile detention facilities, possibly placing them in cells with hardened criminals. But in Texas, a new law passed by the Legislature allows district judges to order juveniles certified to be tried as adults to be held at either a juvenile facility or a county jail.

Foster Care

Governor extends benefits to foster kids who "age out"
NPR Michigan Radio, Michigan – November 22, 2011
Governor Rick Snyder signed a law today to extend benefits for children who grew up in foster care after they turn 18 years old. The new law will allow foster kids to continue to receive a housing subsidy and health coverage until the age of 21, and to continue to work with foster care caseworkers.

Agency helps woman with rough childhood live on her own
Sun Sentinel, Coconut Creek, FL – November 24, 2011
There's toast left in the toaster, smiling faces of young people displayed in the picture frames in the living room.  None of it belongs to Danielle St. Hillaire. It's not her house anymore, this two-story in a row of 11 others tucked away in the SOS Children's Villages property in Coconut Creek.

Holidays can be difficult for ex-foster students
The Fresno Bee, Fresno, CA – November 23, 2011
Richard Alonso-Lazaro was accepted to Fresno State when he graduated high school. But as a young man aging out of foster care, he ended up homeless and unable to pursue college. He spent many holidays on the streets. But college programs and community organizations in Fresno have helped diminish that hardship.

Teen Pregnancy

Social media, reality TV could help reduce teen pregnancies
The Independent Florida Alligator – November 23, 2011
Thank Maci, Farrah and the other stars of MTV's "Teen Mom" - they may be the reason teen pregnancy rates are decreasing.  According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen birth rates in the U.S. dropped last year to the lowest they have been in about 70 years.

Voices for Illinois Children fights for the most vulnerable
Chicago Tribune, Illinois – November 24, 2011
With college, two jobs and her young son to care for, Jessica Olague does not give much thought to the goings-on in the Illinois Legislature or the impact child advocates in Springfield might have on her life. But the programs Olague credits with her success are the result of efforts by child advocates, including those with the Chicago-based nonprofit Voices for Illinois Children.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Utah education leaders tackle problem of high school dropout rate
The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah – November 14, 2011
Linda Toli didn’t think she would finish high school.  She had missed too many days, fallen too far behind and thought the whole situation hopeless.  "I didn’t think I belonged there because I was way behind and couldn’t get help," said the 17 year old.  Toli has since gotten back on track after transferring to Horizonte Instruction and Training Center.

A College Degree Is STILL The Surest Path To A Middle Class Income
Business Insider – November 15, 2011
A post-secondary education is still the clearest path to a middle class income, new research shows.  Jobs for high school graduates will plummet dramatically in the next ten years, making up only 37 percent of the market six years from now, the study found.

Curbing The Drop-Out Rate
WJTV Channel 12, Jackson, MS – November 15, 2011
No one wants to be a high school drop-out.  Unfortunately, many of our teens are joining the long list of statistics.  Today, Mississippi Public Broadcasting hosted a summit for dozens of metro area students to stress the importance of staying in school.  According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, 37-percent of high school students in our state dropped out last year. 

Juvenile Justice

Youth Involved in Both Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Struggle At Unexpected Rate, LA Study Finds
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Los Angeles County, CA – November 17, 2011
Crossover youth, as young adults with dual involvement in foster care and juvenile justice systems are called, face a variety of challenges when entering adulthood, and they carry a high public cost. That is according to the first-ever study of youth in foster care and on probation in Los Angeles County.

Harlem Youth Court Takes On Juvenile Justice
The UpTowner, Harlem, NY – November 17, 2011
It’s a familiar courtroom scene: An advocate scribbling on a notepad prepares her closing statement. A judge presides, pounding her gavel to bring the hearing to order. The juror, named Milagros, is a high school student. Everyone participating– judge, jury, advocate, clerk and offender – is under 18.

Inglewood youth advocacy program receives federal grant
Daily Breeze, Los Angeles, CA – November 17, 2011

A local youth advocacy program has formed a partnership with a group of philanthropic women in an effort to reduce the large numbers - tens of thousands - of teenagers who go through the Los Angeles criminal justice system annually.

Foster Care

New Foster Care Program Starting Up in Charlottesville
NBC29, Charlottesville, NC – November 16, 2011

A new organization in Charlottesville is working to help kids who have "Aged Out" of the foster care program, but directors say they need the community's help to get things up and running.  State's transitional program helping 18-year olds stay in care until age 21
KTHV, Little Rock, AK – November 17, 2011
What happens when a child in state foster care turns 18 and "ages out" of the system without ever being adopted?  It happens to many children up for adoption, including 19-year old Sedella White.

Special Report: Adoption Agency Recruits Families for Kids
WABI TV, Maine – November 17, 2011
More than a thousand kids in Maine are in need of a home, and many remain in foster care until they're 18 years old.  Last year, an initiative that began in Missouri to target kids at risk of never getting adopted, made its way to Maine.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancies on the decline
NBC, Atlanta, GA – November 17, 2011
Fewer babies are having babies of their own.  The Centers for Disease Control reports the teen birth rate has hit a record low, the fourth consecutive year for a decrease.

Grant funds Tehama school program on teen pregnancy
The Record Searchlight, Red Bluff, CA – November 19, 2011
A special school curriculum aimed at preventing teen pregnancy will be launched in area high schools after the first of the year, thanks to a grant from the Sierra Health Foundation.

HERO CENTRAL: DC Teen Pregnancy Prevention
WUSA9, Washington, DC – November 14, 2011
Young girls of Washington, D.C. should be able to come to a place where they can discuss their issues, bond with peers and ensure a brighter future for themselves. DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is that place.

Monday, November 14, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


St. Louis Teachers Voice Struggles Over Dropouts
PBS Newshour, St. Louis, MO – November 8, 2011
Teachers are struggling to find solutions to the high school dropout crisis plaguing the nation. As part of our American Graduate Project series, Gwen Ifill discusses the challenges educators are facing in the classroom with Civic Enterprises' John Bridgeland.

WTTW11 Kicks Off "American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen"

WTTW, Chicago, IL – November 7, 2011

Nearly 40 percent of Chicago Public School students drop out. Why are they dropping out and what can be done to get them back on track to graduate? Elizabeth Brackett looks at two programs with some answers.

Forum focuses on lowering dropout rate for students

St. Louis Today, St. Louis, MO – November 8, 2011

School teacher Barrett Taylor said schools need to adapt curricula to fit student needs.  The CPB has partnered with youth advocacy group America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to address the dropout problem. Monday's American Graduate Teacher Town Hall meeting was the first of 12 to be held across the country.

Juvenile Justice

New option for girls in juvenile justice system
The Capital, Annapolis, MD – November 12, 2011
For the first time, Baltimore girls going through the juvenile justice system now have an alternative to detention while waiting to be adjudicated - an alternative that's been available to boys for years.

Restorative Justice for Santa Clara County's Youth Court
Mercury News, Santa Clara, CA – November 9, 2011

In my State of the County address, I stated that my big, hairy audacious goal as a county supervisor is to put juvenile hall out of business. My vision is that we will transform the Juvenile Justice System, shifting the emphasis from punishment to reform. I believe that quite often these young children can be shown how to become good-standing members of their community. This is possible even if they have made an early detour into the justice system.

Foster Care

Program helps make transition from foster more successful
The Miami Herald, Coconut Grove, FL – November 12, 2011
Casa Valentina was created to provide safe and affordable housing for young women who had aged out of foster care. But in the five years since opening its doors, the nonprofit has become much more.

Advocates pushing for more help for foster children in Kentucky after they turn 18
The Republic, Lexington, KY – November 12, 2011
Evicted and struggling to save money to buy a car, 19-year-old Clairessa Johnson often feels hopeless.  Johnson and her infant daughter have been staying with a friend and she's saving what she can from a minimum-wage fast-food job in Lexington.

At Children's Village, Finding the WAY Home
 Rivertowns Patch, Rivertowns, NY – November 10, 2011
It’s hard enough growing up in foster care.  It’s harder still to establish an independent adult life when you’re abruptly shifted from a residential care setting, like Dobbs Ferry’s Children’s Village, into an unstructured and untethered existence as you age out of the system.

Teen Pregnancy

CDC director: Reducing teen pregnancy will reduce ‘societal inequality’
The Florida Independent, Florida – November 11, 2011
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said Wednesday that reducing teen pregnancy should be a major public health priority in the U.S., according to the National Journal. Friedan said teen pregnancy affects health care costs and limits opportunities for young girls.

State's Division of Public Health releases adolescent sexual health plan
Dover Post, Dover, DE – November 7, 2011
The Delaware Division of Public Health's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Advisory Board has released an Adolescent Sexual Health State Plan to help Delawareans become involved in preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Monday, November 07, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


County students at Virtual fulfill graduation requirements online
Las Vegas Review-Journal, Clark County, NV – November 6, 2011
Fifteen-year-old Jared Smith sat in a high school classroom for the last time on Monday.  No, he's not a Doogie Howser kind of genius graduating early. He's not being home-schooled by his mom. And he's not dropping out.

Truancy a family affair
The Beacon-News, Illinois – November 6, 2011
They’re mostly teenagers, mostly male, and mostly under the assumption they have something better to do with their days than listen to a teacher drone on about algebra or British Literature.  That’s the conception most people have of students who are chronically truant from school.

Trimble clearing obstacles to graduation for at-risk students
Madison Courier, Trimble County, IN – November 2, 2011
This year the Trimble County High School is trying something new to increase the graduation rate and decrease the dropout rate. The school began a credit recovery program that is helping 18 students who have fallen behind to obtain their high school diploma.

Juvenile Justice

Program aimed at cutting African-American teens in juvenile justice system open to girls
The Republic, Baltimore, IN – November 2, 2011
A program meant to reduce the number of African-American boys in the juvenile justice system is being expanded to include girls. The program collaborates with the teens and their families, to encourage the teens to address the underlying issues that lead to anti-social or deviant behavior.

Foster Care

Fighting to change foster care
KXAN, Austin, TX – November 3, 2011
When Courtney Jones looks at photos of herself when she was a young child, she often wonders what she was thinking at that age. Courtney was part of a state panel that recommended changes to the Texas foster care system.’’

Aging out at 21? Child welfare advocates say yes
NewsWorks, PA – November 2, 2011
Federal legislation passed in 2008 provides matching funds for states to provide foster care services through age 21 for most young adults, but Pennsylvania is one of the majority of states that have not extended assistance.  At a public hearing held by state Sen. LeAnna Washington in Philadelphia Wednesday, 18-year-old Braheem Farmer testified in favor of more services for older youth.

Grant aids young people leaving foster care
The Columbian, Washington – October 31, 2011
A local program that helps young people transition out of foster care is receiving a $100,000 grant from a national nonprofit that focuses on those at-risk youth. Innovative Services NW announced that its Transitions Program will be receiving the one-year, $100,000 grant from the Andrus Family Fund.

Teen Pregnancy

Abt Associates to Study the Effectiveness of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
The Sacramento Bee, Bethesda, MA – November 3, 2011
Abt Associates, a global research and program implementation company, today announced it has been awarded an $11.1 million contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate the effectiveness of replications of three teen pregnancy prevention program models.  

Educating to prevent teen pregnancy
Chicago Parent, Illinois – November 4, 2011
Talking to their teens about sex is awkward for most parents, so three local agencies are joining to make the conversation a little easier.  Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Department of Public Health are attacking the problem of teen pregnancy by partnering with Plan Parenthood of Illinois to teach parents how to talk to their kids.

Pregnant pauses
The News Star, Louisiana - November 5, 2011
In 2004, Ouachita Parish's teen birth rate was 54.7, reflecting the number of births per 1,000 teen females ages 15 to 19, according to data released by the Department of Health and Hospitals. In 2009, that rate increased to 65.7.  That's why GO CARE this Saturday will start implementing a Centers for Disease Control-funded teen pregnancy prevention program.