Helping Kids Succeed
North American Precis Syndicate
Treehouse's Graduation Success program helps youth in foster care beat the odds with an 89 percent extended graduation rate. From left are Class of 2017 graduate Brianna and her Education Specialist, Taji Ellis. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—The next time you see kids going to their high school
graduation, you’re looking at money in the bank for all Americans. That’s
because every youth who graduates from high school saves taxpayers $1 million
over their lifetime.
For some kids, however, getting to graduation can be particularly
difficult. For example, the average youth in foster care changes schools
three times and loses four to six months of academic progress at each stop.
Nationwide, only 50 percent of these youth graduate from high school. Without
a diploma and a plan for their future, they experience disproportionately
high rates of poverty, homelessness, incarceration, early parenting and
Helping these vulnerable students is a nonprofit based in Washington state that
provides guidance to organizations all over the country. Called Treehouse, it focuses on giving youth in foster care a
childhood and a future. In fact, its Graduation Success program has an 89
percent extended graduation rate. The culmination of a five-year goal for the
youth to earn their diplomas at the same pace as their peers, the rate
includes both on-time and fifth-year graduates. When the program began in
2012, less than 40 percent of youth in foster care locally were graduating.
“Youth in foster care often need extra time to graduate because of
challenges out of their control, and Treehouse
sticks with them regardless of how long the journey takes,” said Janis
Avery, CEO of Treehouse.
How It’s Done
Based in middle schools and high schools, Graduation Success introduces
consistent education focus into the students’ lives, often for the
first time. Part coach, part parent and frequently part best friend,
Education Specialists meet with their students weekly—year in and year
out, even during the summer. The students take charge of their own futures by
learning to set goals, make plans and advocate for themselves.
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On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)