“What the best & wisest parent wants for his child, the community must want for all its children.” John Dewey
Florida ranks among the lowest graduation rate in the US.
- Currently tied at 3rd
- Orlando is consistently ranked as one of America’s most dangerous cities.
- Orlando’s overall crime rate is nearly four times as high as the national rate.
- In 2009 the violent crime rate in the greater Orlando area was nearly 60 percent higher than the national average.
[The 11 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities. US News, DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, 2010
Consider the challenges that face many of Central Florida’s urban youth:
- Household income is below the poverty line
- Single-parent or no-parent home
- Below-average performance in school
- Frequent disruption in school attendance
- Involvement in criminal activities
Studies have documented that inner-city youth experience high levels of life stress, poverty, and exposure to violence. These stressors can negatively affect healthy adolescent development, and are associated with higher rates of emotional and behavioral problems and psychopathology. (Lever, Sander, Lombardo, Randall, & Rubenstein, 2004) [Details retrieved by permission from http://www.coloradouplift.org/drupal/results]
“Local and state economies also suffer when students do not graduate. The failure to graduate means reduced buying power, loss of revenues to local businesses, lower tax revenues, increased costs in governmental supports, and the need to import additional high-skilled workers to fill job vacancies. Levin at al. (2007) calculated the average societal benefit generated by producing one high school graduate as $209,200.” [ Measuring Graduation Rates in Florida: Constraints and Opportunities. Jessica H. Ice, Joseph Wachtel; Florida State University Department of Political Science, July 16, 2008]