They Keep Coming Back! Reconnecting Youth Numbers In

By United Way of King County, on October 5, 2017 | In Helping Students Graduate

Today in King County, 14,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 have left school without graduating. With no high school credentials and no viable job prospects, their future is in question. Many desperately want to complete their education, and we know we can help.

With investments from individuals like you and local businesses alike, we are working with 12 other organizations to reconnect youth to a future out of poverty. We work to narrow the achievement gap for young people of color.

Through tutoring, mentorship, technical assistance with financial aid and admissions, and support throughout the process, students can reach high school/GED completion, post-secondary education and a stable career path. Essentially, their dreams. Refresher on how Reconnecting Youth works.

With strong donor support, we’ve transformed a set of small underfunded youth programs into a comprehensive system. Here are the top wins from our latest data:

Win 1: Scale

Since the demonstration project in 2014 operated with three sites, we’ve expanded the program to 12 sites and multiple partners, including colleges and employers. We’re building capacity across King County and bridging the gap from attaining high-school equivalency to earning college credits.

Win 2: Effectiveness

After the first full year doing Reconnecting Youth, we made some adjustments based on the students’ feedback.

This ability to shift boosted what we now call the “stick rate”—how many students stick with the program and make progress on their goals. Now in 2017, it’s 87%, which, considering everything these students are juggling (jobs, kids, even homelessness), is fantastic.

Win 3: Capacity

We doubled capacity at YouthSource and Highline School District to serve high-needs geographic areas.

Win 4: Leverage

Approximately $7 million in state dollars have been utilized since 2015. Those dollars were already set aside for work like this—and we claimed them so donor dollars could go further and more youth could get the help they need.

We’re so proud of these students’ determination (like 19-year-old November) and our donors’ support that keeps this program flexible to students’ needs. That’s you!


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