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The Need
Youth across the nation, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds are facing an unknown, and many times bleak future – and the statistics speak for themselves:

“Young people are beginning to lose hope: more than 40% say they do not believe they will be able to achieve their goals”
America's Promise Youth Indicators

“Nearly 7 in 10 young people wish they had more opportunities to help them fulfill their dreams”
America's Promise Youth Indicators

“Graduation rates are significantly lower in districts with higher percentages of students who are eligible for free or reduced -price lunches (a measure of poverty).”
America's Promise Youth Indicators

“8.3 percent of adolescents in the U.S. suffer from depression with 4.9 percent having major depression.”
National Institute of Mental Health - August 2000

“22 percent of 8th grade students, 40 percent of 10th grade students, and 51 percent of 12th grade students have experimented with illicit drugs in their lifetime.”
Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2005).

“In 2004, there were 6,515 arrests for every 100,000 youths ages 10 through 17 in the United States”
National Center for Juvenile Justice. (2006).
National Juvenile Court Data Archive: Juvenile court case records 1985-2003

“50 percent of those who do declare a major, change majors - with many doing so two and three times during their college years”
2006 MSNBC Interactive

“Just 54 percent of students entering four-year colleges in 1997 had a degree six years later.”
Associated Press Nov 15, 2005

“87% of workers are unhappy with their job”
Scott Reeves, Forbes magazine 23 March, 2006

Immeasurable individual potential is being wasted in American youth who too often end up on the wrong track: drugs, crime, violence, and teen pregnancy. This wasted potential does not only affect the individual, their family and community, but the nation as a whole:

Incarceration costs
A one percent increase in high school graduation rates would save approximately $1.4 billion in costs associated with incarceration costs.
(Lochner and Moretti, 2001)

Welfare costs
Twenty-four percent of students who failed to receive a high school diploma have received government assistance. In comparison, only 10 percent of students with a high school diploma and 5 percent of students with some college have received government assistance.
(Adair, 2001)

Lost tax dollars
The U.S. forfeits $192,000,000,000 in combined income and tax revenue losses with each cohort of 18-year-olds who never completes high school.
(USA Today, 2005)

Healthcare costs
Health-related losses for the estimated 600,000 high school dropouts in 2004 totalled at least $58,000,000,000, or nearly $100,000 per student.
(USA Today, 2005)
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