Our young people are challenged in many ways. With more than 68% qualifying for free or reduced-priced lunch, the challenges of economic need are a constant.
They also lack family experience in navigating the process to earn a post-high school degree or credential to help them build their skills. While graduation rates continue to rise, we know that we need to work to be sure that every student is ready for what comes next.
With a typical senior class of approximately 3,000 students, 70% go annually to a two-year, four-year institution or technical college, and of those, more than 80% attend a college or university in Florida. And of those, more than half stay local at either Florida Southwestern State College or Florida Gulf Coast University (National Student Clearinghouse).
This provides our community the opportunity to engage our young people with our local economy and workforce.
Goal: Helping our young people graduate ready
This College and Career Readiness Work Group is composed of staff & volunteer leaders from organizations aligning work and building strategies together, focused on the following collective priorities:
- Increase the percentage of students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Develop and connect community strategies to keep students engaged in school and on-track for college and career readiness.
- Provide community-based internships for 100% career academy and other interested students.
- Develop local strategies to connect students to ongoing community-based support in post-secondary experiences.