By the time October rolls around, some high school students find they are too far behind and have little hope of graduating on time with their classmates. Learn4Life is a network of nonprofit schools that helps at-risk teens earn a high school diploma and receive job skills training. The schools are hosting Back In School reengagement events around California for Dropout Prevention Month to help rescue teens before they give up on the idea of graduating.

The Back In School events give struggling students the opportunity to explore alternatives to a traditional high school and inspire them to try again. Because Learn4Life’s model provides personalized learning and one-on-one instruction, it often becomes a last option for teens who need more attention and a program that fits their learning style. The model features a flexible schedule that is ideal for students who must deal with adult responsibilities, like caring for a baby or siblings, or needing to work. And, it can accept students who are 18 to 24 years old who have aged out of traditional high school through workforce innovation partnerships that provide job skills training.

“Many young people have needs that exceed the capacity and intention of traditional schools, but that doesn’t mean these students don’t have value, intelligence and promise,” said Caprice Young, national superintendent. “They need an education explicitly designed to meet their individual needs and situations. That’s what we do at Learn4Life. We provide tutoring, small group instruction, experiential learning and independent study. We’ve graduated more than 19,000 former dropout youth since 2001.”

Because Learn4Life can enroll students anytime throughout the year, there is no waiting for the new semester or school year to start. Teachers and counselors assess each student to determine why they have become disillusioned with school. Then a personalized program is developed that is flexible and infused with trauma-informed practices. “We offer experiential learning and job skills training which help keep the students engaged and motivated,” Young added.

The Back In School events coincide with Dropout Prevention Month, highlighting the importance of increasing graduation rates, not just for the quality of life for teens who have no direction, but the dramatic impact it has on society. Dropping out means that these young people are ineligible for 90 percent of jobs, 31 percent live in poverty and 40 percent of female dropouts give birth in their teens. Dropouts have children who are more likely to dropout, prompting a vicious cycle. Beyond the impact on the students themselves, society pays $292,000 in increased costs over the lifetime of each dropout.

Find out more about how Learn4Life is saving dropouts and helping them change their stories.

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About Learn4Life

Learn4Life is a network of non-profit public schools that provides students personalized learning, career training and life skills. Each school is locally controlled, tuition free and gives students the flexibility and one-on-one attention they need to succeed. Serving more than 40,000 students across California, we help students prepare for a future beyond high school.

High-res images available upon request.

Written By:
Ann Abajian
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