Connecting youth to caring adults
Mia arrived at a local youth serving community garden to complete a mandatory service requirement not knowing what to expect.
For their life success, it is critical that youth have an adult to go to for support when they are facing a significant challenge. This caring connection increases mental health and makes it more likely that each youth graduates high school and has a good job by age 25.
- If a student fails a reading or math course in the middle grades, they are more likely to drop out of high school.
- The rational, decision-making part of the brain isn’t fully developed until around age 25; as such, it is important to support students well into young adulthood, and especially more vulnerable youth.
- Over 1 in 4 Weld County youth do not have a connection to a caring adult.
In the United States, earning a high school diploma is perhaps the most important determinant of a person’s future. The median annual income of a high school dropout in 2020 was $32,188, compared with $40,612 for a high school graduate. In Weld County, more than 1 in 4 youth do not have a trusted adult that they can get assistance from when facing a challenge that they cannot handle on their own, putting their mental and even physical health at risk.
This situation is difficult for each student and is costly for our community. High school dropouts are more likely than those who graduate to be arrested or have a child while still a teenager, both of which incur additional financial and social costs. The current pool of qualified high school graduates is neither large enough nor skilled enough to supply our nation’s workforce.
“When organizations come together toward a common goal, we are much more effective. We are proud to collaborate with United Way of Weld County toward positive changes for the citizens of Weld County.”Jeff Carlson, CEO, The Weld Trust
By 2024, the Thrive by 25 community-wide goal is to increase the percentage of Weld County youth who have a connection to a caring adult to a solid 75%.
The Thrive by 25 shared effort includes over 20 organizations. Investments are made in a number of programs with county-wide impact that lead to more young adults succeeding in life by age 25. Activities include:
decreasing learning loss and increasing knowledge at after school and summer experiences
building relationships for integrating refugee and immigrant youth
mentoring for mental health and building life skills
providing STEM education
supporting students in their higher education pursuits
participating in recreation programs
Interested in learning more about United Way and Thrive by 25? Sign up to receive our weekly electronic newsletter or call 970-353-4300.