Monday, April 22, 2013

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


“Comeback kid” program targets dropouts
NBC Latino, Sacramento, CA – April 21, 2013
Karissa Aguila dropped out of high school during her senior year, and said Thursday the decision marked one of her biggest regrets.  “I was pregnant at 17,” Aguila said. “I was almost done, so close — and I just quit. I shouldn’t have.”  In Stanislaus County, the high school dropout rate is 14 percent.  A new program to help dropouts, called Comeback Kid, targets young adults, ages 18 to 22.

Beshear defends plan to reward school districts that raise dropout age, Frankfort, KY – April 15, 2013
Gov. Steve Beshear defended a plan to give $10,000 grants to more than 50 school districts if they increase their dropout ages from 16 to 18 in coming months.  "I think it's money well spent," Beshear told reporters Monday during a news conference on an unrelated topic.

Black male graduation rates improving
Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, CA – April 20, 2013
It looked like a commencement exercise, the rows of black male teens in neckties or sweater vests and neatly creased slacks.  One by one they rose as Project BEST scholarship committee chairwoman Fuschsia Ward called out their names, grouped by school, and announced where they had been accepted to college. Then she handed them checks as beaming parents cheered.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice reforms: worth the wait
Baltimore Sun, Maryland – April 16, 2013
As the legislative session closed last week, I was happy to see that we made great progress on behalf of Maryland's children. We made strides in health, child welfare and education. However, one of the standout accomplishments was in juvenile justice.

Proposal would keep 17-year-old felons in juvenile court
The State Journal-Register, Illinois – April 16, 2013
Youths under the age of 18 charged with non-violent felonies will be handled at the juvenile court level, rather than being tried as adults, under a proposal passed by the Illinois House Tuesday.

Foster Care

Housing for Youths Aging out of Foster Care Receives LIHTC Investment
Apartment Finance Today, Indiana – April 19, 2013
Great Lakes Capital Fund announced that it is investing $6 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity to help finance the building of a 36-unit development for young adults in need in Fort Wayne, Ind.  The Courtyard of Fort Wayne will provide housing for youths aging out of foster care and homeless youths. An estimated 226 youths between 18 and 21 years old aged out of the foster-care system in the area's Allen County alone last year.

Teen Pregnancy

NYC Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Keeps Youths on Track
Voice of America, New York, NY – April 19, 2013
Each year, about 750,000 American girls under the age of 20 become pregnant. It’s one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the industrialized West. New York City's rate is especially high: more than 20,000 teenagers become pregnant each year. For those who keep their baby - more than half of teen moms around the country - the decision often leads to dropping out of school, unemployment and poverty.

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