Monday, September 24, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


EPISD dropouts urged to return
El Paso Times, El Paso, TX – September 20, 2012
The El Paso Independent School District, still plagued by a plan some administrators devised to kick low-performing students out of school to rig accountability measures, is focusing its efforts to bring dropouts back to the classroom.

Volunteers urge dropouts to return to Des Moines high schools, DesMoines, IA – September 23, 2012
Des Moines schools employees and community volunteers hit the streets Saturday morning in an effort to get 303 students to come back to high school.

District trying to keep high school grads from dropping out of college
The Examiner, Washington, DC – September 23, 2012
The District is testing a new mentoring program at three universities in an attempt to keep the large numbers of D.C. high school graduates who drop out of college from calling it quits.

Juvenile Justice

Dropout Nation: From Detention To Diploma
KPBS, Flagstaff, AZ – September 17, 2012
The high school dropout rate for American Indians is almost twice the national average. Educators in Flagstaff, Ariz., have tried to turn that trend around. And they’ve had some success at a place you wouldn’t suspect -- the Coconino County Juvenile Detention Center. Most of the kids who wind up there are Native American. Incidentally, we weren’t allowed to show faces of most of the kids because of their age.

Staten Island Youth Court: Teens get involved in justice system
Staten Island Advance, Staten Island, NY – September 23, 2012
A group of teens sits in the Staten Island Youth Court, silent and attentive as the bailiff leads in the respondent, Youth Court's equivalent of a defendant.  Just moments before, the teens were laughing and joking. But now, it's serious business, and they know it -- business that can include accusations of shoplifting, graffiti vandalism or truancy.

Georgia at Work on Juvenile Justice Reforms for Next Year
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Georgia – September 18, 2012
With technical assistance from the Pew Center on the States, a Georgia blue ribbon panel is studying the state’s juvenile criminal justice system, charged by the governor with recommending policy changes.

Foster Care

Bridging the gap to independence
Camarillo Acorn, Camarillo, CA – September 21, 2012
Allison Bravo doesn’t know who her parents are.  Now 19, Bravo has spent her life alternating between living in a group home and staying with a foster family that was not a good match. When she aged out of foster care, she became homeless.  Fortunately for Bravo, Casa Pacifica offered her a steppingstone into the future. The nonprofit, which serves Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, provides care for abused and neglected youths.

Life after foster care
The Daily Journal, San Mateo County, CA – September 17, 2012
Graduates from high school or college are more and more likely to still be living at home. Finding a path to employment is increasingly challenging for young adults, especially for those with little or no support network.  For foster youth who have aged out of the system, going back home may not be an option.  Sims’ and Kopyscianski’s paid internships with the San Mateo County Parks Department are part of a new county Supported Training and Employment Program (STEP). The program, which started three years ago, is designed to help foster youth follow their employment and education goals once they have aged out of the foster care system.

Foster kids get help to move on, LaRue County, KY – September 22, 2012
When Willie Wells turned 18, he was discharged from a group home in LaRue County and given a bus ticket to Louisville.  Hoping now to help others avoid that kind of struggle, Wells and others have put together a Youth Empowerment Summit in Lexington today, where young people in foster care can get information and advice about what’s available when they leave state custody and enter adulthood.

Teen Pregnancy

Record low local teen pregnancy rates
CBS 10, Amarillo, TX – September 19, 2012
Fewer teen girls are becoming pregnant in Amarillo.  The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition says they're seeing the lowest rates since they began keeping track over ten years ago. They held a meeting today with area social workers, nurses, and students to announce their latest findings.

Sex Education in Mississippi: Will a New Law Lower Teen Pregnancy Rates?
Time Magazine, Mississippi – September 21, 2012
During the four years Ashley McKay attended Rosa Fort High School in Tunica, Miss., her sex education consisted mainly of an instructor listing different sexually transmitted diseases. “There was no curriculum,” she says. “The teacher, an older gentleman who was also the football coach, would tell us, ‘If you get AIDS, you’re gonna die. Pick out your casket, because you’re gonna die.”  The scare tactic backfired.

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