Study reveals students who dropout reach out to adults first before leaving school.

According to a new report, Don’t Call Them Dropouts,” released by America’s Promise Alliance, many at-risk students dropout of school because of the lack of support at school and at home.  The study is based on in-depth interviews from 200 young people and nationwide surveys from 2,000 people ages 18-25 who do not earn a high school diploma.

Based on research findings, students who dropped out of school did so for more than just not wanting to be in school. Many conflicts outside of school can contribute to a student’s decision to drop out, including conflict at home, bullying, an incarcerated parent or homelessness.

Jonathan Zaff, executive director of the Center for Promise, sees this disturbing pattern. While many students “are reaching and trying and sometimes they’re getting the door closed on them, literally and figuratively,” Zaff said, adding that sometimes students are blamed for not reacting or responding to an adult. “The assumption is if we reach out to them, and they don’t immediately accept our help, then it’s their fault they didn’t finish high school.”

Mentors or transitional coaches are giving Luis Mateo and Kasandra Vega a second chance at life. Both students dropped out of school and are receiving training thanks to services provided by the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell, Massachusetts. The Center provides youth who have left school with job training and GED classes.

Centers like the one mentioned above give young people that “one consistent, caring adult” that was not present in high school. This is a also great opportunity for community members to train young people and make them feel that the belong.


Photo Courtesy: NBC News