Why we’re reconnecting youth

By United Way of King County, on September 21, 2015 | In Helping Students Graduate

When you were in high school, did you know anyone who didn’t graduate alongside you? Did you know more than one? Right now in King County there are lots of people who are not graduating. In fact there are 15,000 students who aren’t going to sit on a football field or in an auditorium and hear their name called. They’re between 16 and 21 years old and they’ve stopped short of graduating high school. Imagine your trajectory if you hadn’t graduated high school. It’s not pretty is it?

It’s not just grim for one person; it’s grim for all of us. Civic Enterprise estimates that for each 16-year-old out of school and work, the future lifetime taxpayer cost is $258,040. This can all be avoided right now.

That’s why we’re working to reconnect these youth and get them on track to reach their potential. These people are bright. They are motivated. They are our future, and with a smidge of assistance can be right back on track. We’re helping them earn their high-school equivalency and go on to either college or a career credential. There are two key ways that are proven to work:

  • Every single youth in our program gets a coach. Someone who is going to help every step of the way. From finding the right forms to complete, to cheering them on and keeping them accountable, these coaches provide the roadmap and help navigate the course.
  • Add-on help is also available for each person to increase stability. We’re removing barriers like finding child care, or providing food, transportation or housing so that the focus can remain on completing school.

Our goal is to engage at least 50% of disconnected youth, and with your help we can do it. Read more about the program and support this important work.


Dan Thomas
October 1, 2015

Forgive me for pointing out some basics here. The "coaching" for each kid is called a "parent" or "parents." If kids these days are in need of help with child care, housing, etc., again, "parents" are the people who do this job as it has been since time began. If our modern day society has progressed so far that strangers are now obligated to raise other people's children, it is time to go back a few years and try again.

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