Although the high school graduation rate is at an all-time high of 82%, the high school dropout problem still presents a daunting challenge to communities across the United States. About 25% of all students—nearly 1.2 million each year—fail to graduate high school on time. In some large urban districts, less than half the students graduate on time. Even if a student graduates from high school, only one in four students is academically prepared for college or career training.
As we reach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the need to ensure that youth succeed after high school has become more pressing than ever before. A solid education has become the foundation for a good life. Most jobs today that pay wages or salaries high enough to support a family require skills associated with at least some education beyond high school. By 2022, 36% of all job openings in the United States will require at least a bachelor’s degree, and another 49% will be “middle skills” jobs, requiring some education beyond high school. 54% of jobs today are middle-skills jobs, but only 44% of the American workforce is trained at middle-skill level. Employers today need skilled workers at all levels—employees who can communicate well, think critically and be effective team members. Yet, employers report that workers with no education beyond high school are three times less likely to be prepared for work than recent college graduates. Individuals with bachelor’s degrees earn on average $23,800 more per year than those with only high school diplomas. Those with any degree are three times more likely to be employed than someone without a degree.
All told, these statistics carry tremendous implications for our future. It is clear that high school is not enough anymore for anyone who wants to earn a living wage. Moreover, as the fastest growing job sectors require more and more technical education, students unprepared for college or career training will find themselves un- and under-employed at a much higher rate.
How We're Changing the Story:
What YOUR gifts made possible in 2017:
- 1,073 teens participated in a structured after school program where they received homework help, academic tutoring, social emotional skill building, and team building activities
- 119 families participated in parenting meetings which taught parents about college readiness, financial aid, parenting, and life skills, enabling parents to guide their child through the college application or career training selection process