As the school year begins, we are reminded of the millions of young people who will not head back to the classroom this fall. There are an estimated 6.7 million youth between ages 16 to 24 that are disconnected from both school and work - of which 3.4 million are defined as being “chronic” having no attachment to school or the labor market since the age of 16.
Youth are more vulnerable to disconnection during key transitions and multiple and complex transitions occur during the middle school years. Dropout recovery and reengagement is a national matter with deep implications for our economy, local communities, and young people themselves. The taxpayer and social burden of a “disconnected” 16-year-old young person over his or her lifetime is over $1,014,140 million.
Tomorrow, September 25, United Way will host a briefing on Capitol Hill to spotlight best practices and effective dropout prevention and recovery strategies that individuals and institutions are implementing across the country. The briefing will feature a cross-section of community leaders who will share about their efforts to employ integrated dropout prevention and recovery approaches that support young people in achieving successful life outcomes. Find about more information about the briefing here.
Join our social media rally to raise awareness of the existing gaps in youth services and the need for programs and policies to support communities in reconnecting youth. Simply tweet on Tuesday, September 25 with the hashtag #Kidswin and share about why this issue is important to you, your community – and the nation at large.
Get involved. Here are three things you can do:
- READ about the latest research on disconnected youth. Get informed about the problem and the solutions.
- RALLY on social media about the importance of this critical issue. Use our sample twitter messages and Facebook posts.
- PLEDGE to become a mentor for a disconnected youth or young person at risk of disconnecting from school and work. It only takes a minute to pledge to make a difference.
Join the #KidsRally today at unitedway.org/disconnected-youth. Change won't happen without you.