Recent research disseminated in a report by America’s Promise Alliance makes it clear that the United States is in the midst of a high school drop-out crisis of staggering proportions. The details are alarming:
- Every 26 seconds another student gives up on school, resulting in more than one million American high school students who drop out every year.
- In urban public schools that serve primarily low income and Latino or African American youth, between 40% and 60% of entering freshman do not graduate from high school.
- Nationally, 40% of African American, 33% of Latino and 8% of Caucasian students attend a high school with a 40% or higher drop out rate.
In Chicago, public school students are at even greater risk than the national average:
- 65.4% of Chicago Public Schools students graduate from high school in four years.
- Only 38% of African-American males in Chicago earn a diploma compared to the national average of 48%.
- Over 38% of Chicago high school students are at risk of dropping out each year. 50.9% of African-American Males are at risk.
The consequences for these students of not graduating high school are well documented. High school dropouts are three times more likely than college graduates to be unemployed and eight times more likely to be in jail or prison than high school graduates. The cost of this crisis to America is clear: the more than 12 million students projected to drop out over the next decade will cost the nation about three trillion dollars in lost taxes, increased social services and crime related costs.
You can help break down these economic and educational barriers by joining City Year Chicago. As a tutor, mentor, and role model, you will work in schools in Chicago's high-need neighborhoods, providing the right interventions at the right time to help keep students in school and on track to graduate.
Our corps members serve where the need is greatest. Most corps members will tell you that this is the most challenging, yet rewarding experience of their lives. Corps members work long, hard days in an often-challenging environment in order to make a difference in the lives of young people who need support. Learn more about our neighborhoods and safety in our communities.