Discipline of Military Redirects Dropouts

CAROL’S SUMMARY: There is a new spotlight on programs like the Job Corps, YouthBuild, and Youth Challenge after President Obama’s insistence that every student graduate high school and aim for some form of higher education. These programs help dropouts earn their G.E.D. and develop career training. They are also a way for dropouts to learn about themselves, their wherewithal and their aspirations beyond the military.

Questions to consider:
1. Does your community have a program for at-risk or dropout students?
2. What do these programs offer that schools don’t?
3. In what ways can we reach more students before they become inclined to drop out?
4. Who are the military role models that these new recruits have to look up to in their new line of work?


Published: March 7, 2009

FORT GORDON, Ga. — By his own account, Donte’ A. Dungey had no motivation in high school, sleeping through classes and sometimes showing up only for the free lunch to reduce the burden on his mother, who was struggling with nine other children. Held back three times and scheduled to enter the 10th grade at nearly 18, he knew that “high school just wasn’t going to work for me,” he said.

But he was also ready to change. More than five months ago, Mr. Dungey took up residence in a program for dropouts called Youth Challenge, run by the National Guard, that is proving effective at using military atmosphere and discipline to turn around at-risk teenagers.

Visit www.nytimes.com for the entire article

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