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Education

Today, too many young people in America are struggling. More than a million students drop out of high school each year and one in every three do not graduate on time. The problem is even more severe among African American and Latino youth, and those from low-income backgrounds.

Earlier this summer, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the graduation of 22 Green City Force AmeriCorps members in New York City. Green City Force recruits young adults, ages 18-24, who are currently unemployed or underemployed high school graduates or GED-holders from low-income neighborhoods.

How do we open up economic opportunity to every young adult in America? As a former high-tech entrepreneur, CEO, and philanthropist, I have tried to tackle challenges that were similarly daunting and seemingly intractable. I've found that the “path forward” is almost always the same – large scale social change requires an “all hands on deck” approach that is proactive, focused, and inclusive.

Every day, researchers, policymakers, teachers, counselors, and business leaders continue to make the case for the importance of earning a high school diploma and obtaining some post-secondary study. For young adults who drop out of high school, their options and future earning potential become extremely limited. Sadly, 1-in-6 young adults are completely isolated from school and work – and are less likely to become the independent, productive citizens needed to help our nation grow.

Communities have a long history of coming together to revitalize and transform their areas. From the settlement houses of the late 19th century to the 1960s War on Poverty, communities have been collaborating for centuries to improve their surroundings.

The transient nature of military life can make life difficult for students in military families, and many are
stationed at Fort Leonard Wood for less than two years or experience parental deployment. They often
have challenges with making new friends, fitting into social groups, and connecting with the
community.

September 11th can be a challenging topic for educators. For younger students who weren’t born or were very young in 2001, it’s history. For older students and teachers, it’s a vivid memory that may feel like a current event. Finding a way to make the day meaningful across the generations requires finesse and planning.

We would like to introduce you to Percy Thomas and Dorothy Campbell, two amazing volunteers in our Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) whose service was profiled on Friday’s edition of the NBC Nightly News.

Each year, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities through service.

Utilizing the energy and enthusiasm of recent college grads from partner universities to serve as full-time advisers in underserved schools, the National College Advising Corps works to improve the prospects of economically disadvantaged students for post-secondary success.

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