Monday, May 20, 2013

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Ala. video highlights dropout prevention efforts
San Francisco Chronicle, Montgomery, AL – May 19, 2013
At the end of a movie, it's rare to see an entire audience sticking around in the darkened theater to watch the credits. Stranger still — hearing the crowd cheer and applaud as the names of the cast and crew appear on the screen.  The film is a collaborative effort between Montgomery public high school students, some of whom have been at risk of becoming dropouts themselves, and a group of Alabama State University students and graduates who served as mentors.

Birmingham students graduate as a part of Drop Out Recovery program
CBS 42, Birmingham, AL – May 16, 2013
For many students, economic factors, personal obstacles and peer pressure push a high school diploma farther down on their list of priorities.  One group of Birmingham students is bucking that trend.  On Thursday, they reaped the rewards of taking charge of their own lives.  More than 140 students received their diplomas from the Birmingham City Schools Drop Out Recovery program.

Chesterfield program helps students plan for future
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Chesterfield, VA – May 20, 2013
Lee Bryson, a senior at Chesterfield Community High School, sat in front of a computer Thursday afternoon like a true teenager.  Slouched in his chair and seeming to pay little attention to several adults, he was more interested in the game on the monitor than anything the adults could offer.  But Bryson was doing exactly what he was supposed to — playing a game of chess against the computer with total focus.

Juvenile Justice 

Overhaul of Nebraska's juvenile justice system clears second hurdle
Lincoln Star Journal, Nebraska – May 15, 2013
The cornerstone bill of a proposed overhaul of Nebraska's juvenile justice system appears headed for passage by state lawmakers.  The bill (LB561) by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford was given second-round approval Wednesday on a voice vote. It faces one more round of consideration.

Senate OKs bill for arrested 17-year-olds to be sent to juvenile court, Springfield, IL – May 14, 2013
The Illinois Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would send all 17-year-olds charged with crimes in Illinois first to juvenile courts.  The measure, which was approved by the House in April, now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.  Currently, 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors are handled in juvenile justice courts while 17-year-olds charged with felonies are prosecuted in adult criminal courts and sent to adult prisons if incarcerated.

County examines juvenile detention program
The Journal Times, Racine County, WI – May 20, 2013
Racine County is in the early stages of looking for ways to improve its juvenile detention program, after receiving a grant from a private foundation.  The state’s Office of Justice Assistance selected Racine County in January to receive an Annie E. Casey Foundation grant as part of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

Foster Care

DSU grad, Seaford native aims to help foster kids
Delaware Newszap, Dover, DE – May 19, 2013
Christella Amose St. Juste knows first-hand the challenges that youth in foster care face.  Ms. St. Juste, who graduated from Delaware State University with a criminal justice degree on Sunday, lived in foster homes growing up.  Now she is determined to go to law school and work with foster kids — she knows that there is a big need for advocates.

May is foster care month in Pennsylvania
CBS 21, Pennsylvania – May 13, 2013
At an awareness event today in Harrisburg, “Walk a Mile in a Foster Child’s Shoes,” the department was joined by the Pennsylvania State Resource Family Association; Together as Adoptive Parents; and country music star, Jimmy Wayne. Shoes were placed on the capitol steps representing the 14,000 children in the foster care system in Pennsylvania. The shoes will be donated to the Salvation Army.

Teen Pregnancy

Pregnant Boys Featured in Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaign
NewsFix, Chicago, IL – May 17, 2013
Expect the unexpected.  That’s exactly what you’ll get as you walk by a shocking new Chicago billboard campaign, featuring images of pregnant boys.  The Chicago Department of Public Health says it chose the unusual images because it wanted to help reduce teen pregnancy and get young boys’ attention. After all, it takes two to tango.

Teens take center stage in Manatee County pregnancy prevention
Bradenton Herald, Bradenton, FL – May 16, 2013
Teenagers have a long reputation for ignoring the sage advice of parents, educators and other adult authority figures while eager to listen to their friends and fellow youths. Now this peer-to-peer communication is working well in Manatee County's ongoing effort to stem teen pregnancy.

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