Addressing the High School Dropout Epidemic

The Problem

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!

The Workshop

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.

The Results

  1. 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.
  2. Students give CHOICES an “approval rating” of 85%, and teachers give it 97%.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

The Call

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