We’re in it for the long run

I keep thinking about our regional goal in Education to ensure that we have 100% graduation rate from high school in the next 10 years. That’s BIG! And hugely important. Kids who drop out of school have a much more challenging time finding a job paying an income that allows them to be self sufficient. In 2008, over 7,000 kids in our region dropped out of school. That’s just unacceptable.

There is a list of reasons why kids drop out of school. But the one that I can’t stop thinking about is from a young man who said “I dropped out of school because there wasn’t anyone there to tell me not to.” When I read between the lines it said to me that there are many kids who don’t have some ONE in their lives who has the time or inclination to tell them they are worth it, how important it is to stay in school, and then to follow up and make sure they do.

United Way is working with partners across the region to address the reasons kids say they drop out. These partners are working hard to wrap services around the kids most at-risk and to make school relevant in their lives. All of us working together is the only way we will be able to keep those “7,000″ kids in school.

We’re in it for the long run. I hope you will be there with us.