Over the years, CYC has partnered with students, schools, and community agencies to significantly reduce the dropout rate in Colorado. This includes an evolution of programming that has, in the past, and will continue in the future, to change the lives of young people.
We began by providing reengagement services to out-of-school youth in 2005. Denver Public Schools was our first partner in this work; 55 young people reenrolled in school that first year. From 2008-2020, CYC created and managed both Futures Academy and the Educational Intervention program.
In partnership with Aurora Public Schools, the Futures Academy school program combined GED preparation with post-secondary concurrent enrollment. Hundreds of young people earned a GED as well as technical certificates, college credits, and associate degrees through this program. Please email Info@YouthforaChange.org if you were a previous student at Futures and have questions.
Educational Intervention supported 9th grade students with the transition to high school. Thousands of students raised failing grades to passing grades in partnership with CYC staff who were embedded in schools. Each passing grade helped increase the chances of students staying on-track and eventually graduating.
In 2015, CYC started leveraging the power of AmeriCorps to reach more students. Corps for a Change started first in response to chronic absenteeism in high school. The nationally replicated Colorado Reading Corps followed in 2017 to support children not reading on grade level in elementary school. Both programs support students at critical junctures in school, increasing their chances of eventually graduating.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on students and families, CYC also added the Student Engagement Corps during the 2019-2020 school year. An additional 2,500 students were supported with tutoring, attendance check-ins, connection to basic needs, technology support, and so much more.
The 2021-2022 school year will continue to evolve as additional AmeriCorps members are recruited and the national replicated Math Corps joins CYC programming.
As a national leader, CYC is cited as effectively using AmeriCorps members to increase community impact in “Service Years as a Strategy to Improve Education Outcomes” (Service Year, 2018), is featured in the United States Department of Education Reengagement Guide (2014), and is featured in the National League of Cities’ Addressing Student Reengagement in the Time of Covid-19 Resource Guide (2021).