Empowering At Risk Youth - What Can We Do Pt.1



What does the future hold for At-Risk youths who are struggling in our nation’s classrooms?

Without help from caring adults at home, in the community, and in the schools, those youth may never be able to rediscover their sense of wonder about learning and their sense of hope.

When that happens, the entire nation loses: "School failure can lead to life failure-including dependency and crime and all the things we don’t want to have to pay for as a society," says James Comer of the Yale Child Studies Center.

Concerned educators, activists, and parents have suggested a range of the following solutions:

1. Parent Involvement:

The quality of any school rests a great deal on how much parents support it. Parents and teachers need to be partners.

Yet even though participation is critical it’s not always practical: Many at-risk youth families have only one parent, and some of them are working two jobs to earn a decent living.

What’s more, many of the mothers of at-risk youth who try to participate in school activities, report feeling unwelcomed, unheard, and at times intimidated in their efforts by teachers, school administrators and law enforcement personnel.

Forming at-risk youth support groups may help. Parents of at-risk youth don’t compare notes about what’s going on in the schools enough.

It is often as if we think that asking questions is like getting in each other’s business. But we really need to talk more with other parents of at-risk youth.