New Study Explores Factors for Drop-Out Rate Among Latino Youth (Video)

A crowd of parents, elected officials and local youth gathered in Gaithersburg for one cause – to hear from local leaders about how to connect Latino youth to opportunities, a demographic that according to the 2013 Maryland Report Card from the State Department of Education has the highest drop-out rate in Montgomery County.

MyMCMedia’s Valerie Bonk has more:

“It’s extremely important because the achievement gap is going to impact the lives of the Latino youth and other youth in Montgomery County and if we don’t join forces and work together in a coordinated way we’re not going to be able to bridge that gap,” said Diego Uriburu, Executive Director,  of local non-profit Identity.

The briefing at Gaithersburg high school shines a light on a recent study released in collaboration between The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and Identity, which surveyed 960 Montgomery County residents.

“I think what’s important today is that we have now a report that we can use moving forward. It’s always important to pause at different points in time to understand where we are,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro.

“We have to bring people together and take joint responsibility of it,” said Montgomery College president DeRionne Pollard. “We do a really good job in our County of providing support but often times it’s disconnected so how do we align them in ways that when a student is at risk we understand that both from the family aspect, from the public school aspect, from the safety aspect and really work together to triage that patient.”

For students who stepped up to the mic, they said specialized attention and a push at the right time during their education put them on the right path.

“When I got to middle school a lot started changing for me because I had many difficult challenges to go through at one point I was close to almost dropping out,” said Gaithersburg High school student Jose. “It was pretty scary for my because I didn’t have anyone to support me.”

According to the report, the factors for drop-out among Latino youth in Montgomery County include a lack of parent involvement, a failure to have access to a computer and low expectations for performance from teachers.

“You can’t have half of your students leaving school unable to get a job not be able to read or write,”  said Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich. “You can’t have any kind of future society if we’re going to have large portions of our kids who can’t get jobs when they leave high school and it is absolutely critical that high school prepare every student for the ability to have a job.”

Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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