Most schools and organizations start preventing high school dropouts in high school, but this is often too late to make a difference. A high school diploma is almost essential for employment. As a nation, dropouts account for $312 billion in lost wages and taxes.
When children have a solid academic foundation before starting school, they are on the right track for school success.
Disadvantaged children fall even further behind in middle school, which leads to truancy and behavior problems. Only 20 percent of students in eighth grade have the skills needed for high school. Volunteers and mentors with United Way can help the remaining 80 percent of children succeed and make a positive difference in a child's life.
To help prevent new high school dropouts, United Way has partnered with America's Promise and Ready by 21 to help high school students stay on track, avoid dropping out, and graduate on time. We also help students prepare for college entrance exams and provide mentoring and counseling to help keep students in school.
Volunteering for these programs and mentoring a child can make a big impact in a child's life. These programs not only raise a child's grades and reduce high school dropouts; they also boost a child's self-esteem. These programs help children as they grow into adulthood and find gainful employment, breaking the cycle of poverty and helping more people to pursue their dreams in life. Find volunteer opportunities at your local United Way and learn how you can pitch in to help us take on this big challenge today.