In the 2016, there were eighty-seven schools in Colorado where fewer than two thirds of the students graduated in four years. Low graduation rates are a nationwide epidemic that occurring here in our home state. An America’s Promise Alliance, report declared dropout rates in Denver Public Schools our lower than the national average. In Denver, only 76.7% of public school students graduated in six years. In today’s world it is more important than ever to have a degree. However, it is a sad reality that at-risk students in inner cities do not have the tools they need to help them remain motivated and stay in school. Children who do not graduate from high school are more likely to become involved in gangs and substance abuse. According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 31% of dropouts were currently using illicit substances. In addition, according to a study by the Center for Labor Market Studies, high school dropouts are more than 63 times more likely to be incarcerated than four-year college graduates. By creating a program that addresses high school drop out rates in Denver, we can not only set Denver students up for future success but help better our city.
Access to education can change the trajectory of a child’s life. However, the accessability to drugs and gang related activities tempt kids away from education with allure of money and a family. Our countries’ public school system lacks programs that are designed to identify students who are at risk of dropping out and inspire them to aim high and stay in school. By creating a program that encourages and mentors at risk students, students will have a higher chance at graduating and going on to either college, a trade school, or a full time job.
Our team plans on creating a public partnership with the Denver Public School System to create a program that uses an after school lacrosse club to encourage at risk students to stay in school. By partnering directly with the Denver Public School System we can best identify at risk students to join our program. With additional tutoring and mentoring for our students, this program will keep Denver students who are at risk of dropping out on track to graduate in four years.