Help our disconnected youth: Become a mentor today!

Nationwide, one in six young people between ages 16 and 24 are unattached to school or work. 3.4 million are defined as being “chronic” having no attachment to school or the labor market since the age of 16. Dropout recovery and reengagement is a national matter with deep implications for our economy, local communities, and young people themselves.

These youth impose – on average and compared to other youth – an immediate taxpayer burden of $13,900 per year and an immediate social burden of $37,450 per year (2011 dollars). This is something both we and they cannot afford. 

  • Find out more about the economic value of disconnected youth. Read the research analyzed by Civic Enterprises
  • Hear what people across the country are saying about disconnected youth. Read the report created by the White House Council for Community Solutions.
  • Learn about what the long-term youth jobs gap means for America. Read the Young Invincibles report.

So how do we help? Research shows that mentoring can play an important role in helping young people stay in school and on track to success in college, career and life. A caring adult can provide the needed support to help a young person find a pathway to a productive life. Become a mentor today. Search for opportunities on CUVolunteer. Become a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Champaign CountyCU One to One Mentoring, or TALKS Mentoring. Become a coach for a youth sports program at Champaign Park District, Urbana Park District... the opportunities are endless. The only thing we can't do is ignore the issue. 1 in 3 kids nationwide will never graduate from high school. Let's change this statistic, one by one.