In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama asked states to consider increasing the minimum age for a student to leave school to 18. How do we keep youth engaged and motivated? Teens are unique and their educational experiences should be unique as well. The cookie cutter approach to education leads to our teens dropping out of school or graduating from high school unprepared for higher education or the workforce. The “old way” of teaching is driving our national education reform efforts.
According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, high school drop outs from the class of 2006-2007 will cost the US more than $329 million in lost wages, taxes, and productivity over their lifetime because those who drop out are more likely to be incarcerated, rely on public programs and social services, and go without health insurance than those who graduate from high school. A college education may not be for everyone but graduation from high school is a MUST.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, young adults with a high school diploma earn up to $2,000 more annually than their peers who drop out of school early. People that only have a high school diploma earn $6,000 less per year than those with an associate’s degree, and nearly $20,000 less per year than those with a bachelor’s degree. Globalization is forcing our youth to compete for jobs not only against youth in their city and state but with youth on other continents. Education is the key to our individual and collective futures.
Through education we learn about the world we inherited and develop our perspective about the world we live in. Education helps shape our views about life in general. A quality education allows students to develop academically, socially, and professionally thus leading to increased opportunities and a wider array of choices. I believe in the power of education! Let’s help our youth put the power of education into practice.
Would love to hear how you are helping your youth stay in school.
Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.