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From dropout to jail to call center. Lets skip the jail part.

20 years ago, my brother dropped out of high school because his girlfriend got pregnant and he needed to work. He struggled for three years to find a decent job to feed his family. He got desperate and started selling drugs. A short time later, he was arrested, deported, and separated from his family forever. Today, this is still happening to many people.

Photo of Yscaira Jimenez
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My brother dropped out of high school because his girlfriend got pregnant and he needed to work. He struggled for three years to find a decent job to feed his family. He got desperate and started selling drugs.  A short time later, he was arrested, deported, and separated from his family forever.  He is now working at a call center in the dominican republic.  There is no reason why he cant be doing that here.  If exploring, finding training, and applyling to jobs for young people who dont have a college degree were easier, my brother would still be here with us. He would be working and providing for his family.

Many young people are not being served by the traditional pathway to employment (High School->College->Job). If you don't go to college, the path isn't clear and can lead to unemployment or prison. This is what happened to my brother and broke my family apart.  Every year, over 1 million young people graduate high school and don't go to college. 6.7 million young people are currently not in training, school, or employed. In New York City, 80% of students drop out of community college. All these young people need a pathway to employment to help them support themselves and stay away from trouble.  

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Photo of Jennifer Fong

Thanks for sharing this and reminding us that alternative solutions need to be in place for those who do not proceed through school>college>job. Options could include online education, apprenticeships, short term training, internships, work placements, etc. You've got me thinking about this one! Thanks for sharing!

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