More than 1.3 million students drop out of high school every year in the United States. “Back when the US came back from the war, way back in the 1940s, after World War II, the nation had the highest rate of graduates in the world. Today, we’re barely holding on to the 22nd spot among 27 industrialized nations,” Sterling Terrance Hospedales, executive director of 25×7 – a non-profit engaging today’s youth and giving them the tools necessary to succeed – tells us.
A dropout survey, from the National Center for Education Statistics, also pointed out that in many cases, teens who don’t complete their education are ineligible for 90% of jobs in America, not only that, but they are more likely to have serious dependency issues – narcotics and alcoholism – and are also more prone to engage in illegal activities. These are just some of the reasons why Sterling Terrance Hospedales today is spearheading a change within the community and addressing the challenges inherent to key academic struggles.
“Now, thanks to COVID and the consequence of the on-and-off educational dynamics of it, drop-out rates have skyrocketed,” Sterling Terrance Hospedales explains.
One of the worldwide initiatives facing the problem head-on is the ” dropout recovery” platform. It’s a huge social push in which students who have previously left school are sought out for enrollment. And most of the time it’s promoted not only by the government, at a state level as well as federal, but by non-profits like 25×7 and business programs. In the US, for example, such inactive sites are publicly subsidized.
Dropping out of school has drastic, oftentimes life-altering, and long-lasting economic and social repercussions. Students who drop out generally struggle with all manner of behavioral and academic issues. “It’s really a red flag. Iit’s a call to arms for a mentor or caring adult to intercede. Educational inclusion is a complex issue. How families internally organize themselves, effective academic support, policy-making, and therapeutic support are constantly needed. Particularly with at-risk students.”
Disengagement from education is linked to individual attitudes and values and it’s important to address them — that’s why programs, like 25×7, are being actively developed across the nation. They implement policies and positive platforms that address the issue and empower the vulnerable and oftentimes marginalized.