Building a New York that meets the needs of all of its residents is closely linked to keeping our young people in school. Youth with lower educational attainment are more likely to be arrested or incarcerated in their lifetime, as well as more likely than graduates to become dependent on welfare, engage in illegal activity and experience health and affective problems. Individuals without a high school diploma earn an average of $260,000 less than do high school graduates in their lifetime. In order to make New York a better place to live for all of its residents and especially its young people, it is vital that we address rising dropout rates and low youth engagement.
New York recognizes the need for attention on school completion and college readiness for our youth. As a first step in that effort, The New York State Governor’s Summit on Student Engagement and Dropout Prevention was held on October 10, 2008 at Nazareth College to highlight effective youth-informed prevention and intervention strategies, starting Pre-K through high school.
The purpose of the Summit was to increase public awareness of student engagement, dropout prevention, and college-readiness; secure commitment for integrated collaboration between corporate, nonprofit, public and education sectors; and provide a forum to discuss and recommend policy changes.
It is now more important than ever to develop new and innovative ways to engage young people in their school and communities. America’s Promise Alliance has identified five resources, or promises, that are most crucial to young people’s success: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others. The summit mobilized leaders in education and youth development around these Five Promises to develop strategies for reducing dropout rates and more effectively engaging our young people.
The Governor’s Summit was a unique opportunity for leaders in the corporate, nonprofit, public, and school sectors to implement these Five Promises across New York State. Together, we can increase the opportunities available to young people and inspire them to increase their investment in education and community development. The New York State Governor’s Summit on Student Engagement and Dropout Prevention is a venue for leaders to hear from New York youth, develop local action plans, and influence local, state, and federal policy.
America’s Promise Alliance: The Five Promises
The New York State Governor’s Summit on Student Engagement and Dropout Prevention featured facilitated dialogues centered on the resources that America’s Promise has identified as those most crucial to positive youth development and dropout prevention. Individuals who attended the Summit participated in a session focusing on one of the Five Promises outlined below.
The Five Promises are those developmental resources — wrap-around supports— that young people need for success in life:
The Five Promises change lives!
Children who receive at least four of the Five Promises are much more likely than those who experience only one or zero Promises to succeed academically, socially and civically. They are more likely to avoid violence, contribute to their communities and achieve high grades in school.
Receiving at least four of the Five Promises also appears to mitigate gaps across racial and economic boundaries.