Saturday, March 25, 2023


Georgia prepares for the end of COVID-19 emergency; comment period open for experimental nuclear tech in eastern ID; Mexican gray wolf population rebounds in Arizona.


Lawmakers grill the CEO of Tik Tok over national security concerns, the House Pro-Choice Caucus aims to repeal the Helms Act and allow U.S. foreign aid to support abortion care, and attempts to ban or restrict books hit a record high as groups take aim at LBGTQ+ titles.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Graduation Rates: Putting MO Teens, Young Adults on the Right Path


Monday, October 17, 2022   

Understanding future success is closely linked to educational outcomes, organizations in Missouri are helping teens and young adults meet their academic and career goals.

The latest Kids Count data showed about 92% of Missouri high schoolers graduate on time, although the percentage is lower in some areas.

Robin Hammond, executive director of the St. Joseph Youth Alliance, which serves the city and surrounding Buchanan County, said high school graduation rates in the county fell from nearly 95% in 2016, to 82% in 2020. She explained students who do not graduate are valuable community members, who just need help getting onto the right path.

"They didn't drop out of school because they weren't smart, or they didn't have talents," Hammond pointed out. "Sometimes there's a bit of stigma attached to someone that finds themself in that situation. We want to make sure that everyone understands that they have skills and talents that we all need."

She noted the Youth Alliance offers programming for people 17-24 years old to finish their high school equivalency, and connect them with adult basic education, work readiness skills, service opportunities and career mentoring. It also works with community partners to provide transportation, food and other basic needs.

Hammond emphasized for teens and young adults, the pathway to success is often based on relationships, and their participants work closely with a specific case manager to meet their goals.

"That is their coach and cheerleader. We are the ones that have their backs, so to speak, when they're dealing with difficult life challenges," Hammond stressed. "And we're here to support them and help them to overcome whatever barriers that they may be facing."

St. Joseph Youth Alliance is one of the 20 community partners of the Missouri Family and Community Trust - Missouri's Kids Count partner. Hammond said Kids Count research informs their work and the strategies they design to meet the needs of people in their community.

"When you see that plan come to life, and you see someone make lifelong changes for the better -- and you see how happy and excited they are when they believe they can do anything that they set their mind out to do -- it's really an amazing thing," Hammond remarked.

Part two of our series tomorrow looks at efforts in Missouri to address infant mortality rates and foster child development.

Disclosure: Missouri Kids Count contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, and Youth Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Nevada is the only state with what is known as a summary eviction process. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance, tenants, lawmakers and community leaders gathered at a news conference outside the Capitol in Carson City this …

Social Issues

Family caregivers provide valuable work to Washington state - even if they don't get paid. A new report puts a value to the unpaid work they do…

Social Issues

Advocates for Michigan's LGBTQ community are calling lawmakers' move to expand the state's civil rights law to include them a victory that's "been a l…

Illinois advocacy groups say they are educating policymakers on the benefits of hospital screening as a solution to prevent medical debt, both for low-income patients and the hospital. (volgariver/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new report finds thousands of low-income or uninsured people in Illinois face medical debt that is depleting their savings and, in some cases…

Health and Wellness

The Iowa Senate has approved a measure allowing some medical facilities to be licensed as "emergency hospitals." This would be especially important in…

The Idaho National Laboratory is located near Idaho Falls. (MichaelVi/Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Department of Energy has opened a short public-comment window on an experimental nuclear technology in Idaho. The agency has released a …

Social Issues

School nutrition providers told Ohio lawmakers this week they're tired of hounding parents for school lunch money when their child's account accrues d…

Health and Wellness

A Georgia health advocacy group is concerned about people's health outcomes as the COVID-19 public health emergency is set to expire on May 11…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021