JEFFERSON PARK — Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC) reengages at-risk students and helps them get their high school diploma, GED or even an associate degree.
“The work that we’re doing is the right work to be done for this population,” says Robert Ham, CYC’s development director. “If we don’t invest on the front end in these students who have disengaged from school, we will pay for it on the back end, in health care, prison and social service costs, not to mention the lost potential of these students.”
For the third year in a row, students from Colorado Youth For a Change ran the 5K on Saturday, May 20th as part of the Colfax Marathon.
Four years ago, Colorado High School Charter faced possible closure. Today, the Denver charter became one of the few alternative education campuses to be on the state’s accountability clock for five years before completing a turnaround to meet expectations.
The principal, Clark Callahan, states that one of the major factors in the improvement was partnering with Colorado Youth for a Change.
Colorado Youth for a Change's Educational Intervention program
focuses on supporting 9th and 10th grade students failing 1-2 core courses, but also serves additional students based on the individual school’s need.
Research shows that one failure of a core course in the ninth grade decreases a student's chance of graduating by 20 percent — a decrease that continues for each additional course failure.
At Englewood High School, Julie Begin's relationship with students balances friendly banter and encouragement with strong focus on academics.
The CRN is the nation’s first mutual support network, and streamlines the coordination of regional and statewide student reengagement efforts to better serve students throughout Colorado. It serves as a model for other states. The network is supported by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and spearheaded by Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC).
The Colorado Reengagement Network will host a series of networking conference calls leading up to October Count. The calls will provide an open forum for district and school administrators, teachers, and community organizers to share reengagement strategies.
Nineteen-year-old student Wilber Gonzalez-Garay is excited about his future. In it, he sees himself doing a variety of things that interest him, especially work that involves using his hands. Even more impressive is the fact that less than a year ago, Gonzalez-Garay was homeless and desperate for a change.
"I didn't have house and I had just lost my job," Gonzalez-Garay said. "I really needed something to keep me busy, and the one thing I wanted to do was go back to school."
New program designed to reach dropouts and students at risk of dropping out.