At-Risk Youth: Turning Goals To Reality

By United Way of King County, on January 7, 2015 | In Helping Students Graduate

Success in life depends on many factors. An essential marker for that success is education.

A competitive job market demands a high school education. Technical credentials and college courses even. And that diploma isn’t just a piece of paper. It’s the gateway to a career.

But 13,000 18- to 24-year-olds in King County have dropped out of high school.

Some context: This year, the University of Washington has about 6,300 freshmen enrolled. So we’re talking about two years’ of students.

In the YouthSource program, King County works with 500 youth each year who’ve dropped out of school. The goal for the youth is to return to the classroom, earn a GED, and continue to college or vocational training.

It’s great work. So we’re doubling it.

The Reconnecting Youth project pairs 1,000+ young people with a coach, who helps with high school completion, college/career credentials and employment. It makes it possible for more youth to identify career goals and take the steps to turn those goals into reality. See our press release (PDF) for details.

Who’s in it with us? The Boeing Company is investing $250,000. Huge thanks to Boeing for once again showing its commitment to our community by embracing our youth and working with us to help make local jobs available to local residents.

King County is also in it, along with Wells Fargo and a number of others who want great local companies to fill jobs with great local talent. Thank you to all of our partners.

What’s The Impact?

Imagine the difference in our community if today’s at-risk youth could plug back in, finish their education, and go on to college or a career credential.

People with a high school diploma earn nearly 40% more than those without it. And people with a college degree? 228% more. That’s half a million dollars over their lifetime.

Says Merri Rieger, Renton School District superintendent: “With Reconnecting Youth, there is yet another pathway for students to build their academic and vocational skills so that they can be prepared for careers that will bring them even more opportunities.”

in Human Services, 01/07/2015


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