01 Nov 2018
Learn4Life Helps Homeless Youth Stay In School
LOS ANGELES (November 1, 2018) – As many as one in 10 young adults in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25—or 3.5 million young people—experience homelessness. National Homeless Youth Awareness Month highlights this growing issue and applauds efforts being made to provide housing, education and services to our young people.
Click to Tweet: 1 in 10 young adults in the U.S. experience homelessness and are at a high risk of dropping out of school. @Learn4Life makes sure its students without permanent housing stay in school and graduate by removing many challenges in their lives. #NationalHomelessYouthAwarenessMonth
Keeping homeless youth in school is especially challenging, as these students tend to move frequently and continually change schools. They are absent more and are at a much higher risk of falling behind and quitting high school. Learn4Life, a dropout recovery program that offers a free high school diploma and job training, is uniquely structured to the meet the special needs of homeless students and those with housing insecurity.
“Along with losing their home, these youth have lost stability and a feeling of safety, and many are victims of trauma,” explained Chris Hodge, chief academic officer at Learn4Life. “Persistent poverty and lack of permanent housing can increase students’ exposure to dangerous and unsafe living conditions, which increases incidence of substance abuse, pregnancy and depression. Our trauma-informed model focuses on the social-emotional needs of the students first, then they can begin to concentrate on their education.”
The Learn4Life model works to eliminate many of the challenges and distractions in students’ lives by lining up community resources to assist them with food, transportation and childcare, and help them apply for government assistance and housing. Flexible schedules and a blended model of independent study, one-on-one teaching and small group instruction give students the support and confidence they need to stay in school. “For many of our homeless and traumatized kids, our schools become their home, Hodge added. “And we do everything we can to help them gain life skills and resiliency, and graduate from high school with job training that will lead to a successful adulthood.”
Learn4Life is a network of like-minded nonprofits that are all focused on helping at-risk students or “opportunity youth” turn their lives around by earning a high school diploma and job skills training. Through our one-on-one attention and personalized learning infused with trauma-informed practices and community partnerships, we help students prepare for a future beyond high school. Learn4Life serves more than 40,000 students across California. For more information, please visit http://www.learn4life.org.
Ann Abajian, Learn4Life