Addressing the High School Dropout Epidemic
Every school day 7,000 teens become high school dropouts. Each time a teen drops out, he or she faces a lifetime of challenges and uncertainty, and also forfeits an estimated $260,000 in lifetime earnings compared to high school graduates. But we as a nation also face a lifetime of healthcare, welfare and crime costs for each dropout, as well as lost tax revenues resulting from their lower earnings, which together are estimated at $290,000 per teen. With 7,000 kids dropping out each school day, this means we are incurring future losses of $2 billion every school day that we allow this to continue!
Into this appalling epidemic steps CHOICES, an interactive decision-making workshop that focuses on keeping teens in school, motivating them toward their education and future, and introducing them to practical life skills to help them succeed. In two fast-paced 45-minute sessions, business volunteers take students through real-world exercises on self-discipline, decision making, time management and goal setting.
- We currently support 60 program sites in 25 states and engage 860 business and community volunteers to serve 40,000 teens per year – that’s 220 teens every school day, and we do it at a cost of $5 per teen.
- Students give CHOICES an “approval rating” of 85%, and teachers give it 97%.
- In a 2007 study investigating changes in student engagement in school, students indicated a 9% increase in appropriate engagement, a 9% decrease in inappropriate engagement and a 9% decrease in non-engagement coincident with CHOICES.
- Engagement in school has been shown to be a reliable indicator of the probability of on-time high school completion. In a recent study of at-risk students, those who participated in CHOICES increased their school engagement 47% more than those who did not, as reported by their teachers. This indicates a strong correlation between participation in CHOICES and positive school engagement.
Turn a teen around today with your time, money and/or other resources. Five dollars can save a teen and help build a stronger future for us all. Get Involved