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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:


Monday September 15, 2014
Students working in a kitchen prepping food
It’s encouraging to see some good news emerging on the unemployment front lately. The overall unemployment rate, which peaked at 9.9 percent in April 2010, fell to 6.1 percent in August 2014. But for 16-24 year olds looking for work, the situation remains terrible. The unemployment rate of this segment of young adults was 14.2 percent in July 2014, more than double the rate of the general population. Numbers for young people of color are much worse. Roughly one in four African American youth and almost one in five Latino youth are unemployed. Even more disconcerting, the general consensus is...
Tags: Dropout Recovery, Opportunity Youth, Workforce Partnership
Wednesday February 19, 2014
2014 has ushered in a new era in the world of high school equivalency assessments. These assessments offer an alternative route for students who, for one reason or another, could not complete a high school diploma. And we are not talking small numbers here: nearly 40 million U.S. adults 16 and older lack high school credentials, the bare minimum of entering postsecondary school and/or getting a job. Consequently, a growing number of youth and adults will, in the coming years, go back to school with the hopes of passing a high school equivalency exam. For many years, the General Education...
Tags: Dropout Recovery, Opportunity Youth
Thursday January 9, 2014
The confetti has been swept up, the cheering quieted, and the headaches dissipated. New Year’s celebrations? No, the release of the PISA 2012 results. While some countries celebrated their glowing results, others, like the United States, swallowed pangs of disappointment. Though much of the furor has now died down, the implications and lessons of PISA are still fresh on our minds as we launch the next phase of Students at the Center. For starters, PISA is a test administered every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to 15-year-olds in more than 60...
Tags: Student-Centered Learning
Monday July 29, 2013
I am a person of African descent, a person “of color,” and I work on improving education and career outcomes for low-income youth and young adults across the country—the majority of whom are also persons “of color.” I have long looked for ways to discuss race and equity issues without increasing the discomfort and defensiveness of everyone present. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a Racial Equity & Society Seminar, a 4-day forum organized by the Aspen Institute for a diverse group of leaders involved in advancing economic opportunity in the public and private sectors. The...
Thursday January 17, 2013
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
Paul Tough’s new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, is about the importance of character in preparing students for success in education, employment, and life. Specifically, he describes the critical role of developing executive functions for young people to succeed in college. Executive functions, according to Mr. Tough, combine both emotional and cognitive impulse control that help students regulate their thought and emotions. He quotes a Harvard psychologist who describes executive functions as “a team of air traffic controllers overseeing the...
Tags: Dropout Recovery