It Takes a Village: How Nonprofits Are Working to Improve Student Outcomes

Posted by Kevin Bauman on 9/15/15 12:00 PM

Inner city youth organizationMany nonprofits and youth organizations help students who are at risk of not being able to continue their education because of financial hardship or other circumstances, such as a lack of child care or mentoring support. While these organizations are motivated by diverse causes, they share a common goal: to help students complete their education. With this shared vision, these nonprofits work together and with other partners to promote student success.

Steering Students in the Right Direction

Students who have good role models are more likely to succeed, and Big Brothers Big Sisters specializes in filling this need.1 The organization pairs at-risk youths with caring adult role models who help point them in the right direction and encouraging them to finish their education. Research by nonprofit organization Public/Private Ventures showed that students with mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters were less likely to skip class and be more confident about their ability to complete their schoolwork.

Helping Students Finish High School

YouthBuild USA is another organization that helps young students finish high school.2 Working in cooperation with the Department of Labor and with educational partners such as Penn Foster, YouthBuild provides unemployed young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 with a high school education, counseling, and job skills. To accomplish this, YouthBuild gives young adults opportunities to work full-time toward their high school diploma or GED while building affordable housing in their community, all while gaining on-the-job experience.

Paying for College

Other organizations focus on helping students pay for college and learning financial literacy skills to manage their student loans. American Student Assistance provides students with a free student loan education along with financial management training and advice.3 In addition to servicing loans, the Student Assistance Foundation provides online financial education, and even visit schools to coach students in person, free of charge.

Providing Vocational Training

Job Corps is another organization that helps students complete school while receiving vocational training.4 With local centers typically organized into campus environments with dorm living quarters, Job Corps uses a four-step system to help students start and pursue a career path while completing educational requirements and gaining on-the-job experience. Nicole Baker was a single mother who had dropped out of college and was living out of her car when her mother told her about Job Corps.5 She entered the program, developed good attendance habits, and did an externship in pharmacy technology that got her a job at CVS/pharmacy.

Providing Day Care for Student Parents

Taking care of children can be a challenge for some students who also have parenting responsibilities. The National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers assists with this problem by providing child care services at higher learning institutions for all students who seek it.6 The NCCCC's centers are designed both to enable parents to focus on school and to provide an early educational foundation for children.

Recommended for You: How Job Corps is Combatting the Dropout Crisis

Resources: Photo Credit. (1) Big Brothers Big Sisters of America: Our Impact on Education (2) Penn Foster and YouthBuild USA Partner to Provide High School Diploma Program for Opportunity Youth (3) American Student Assistance: In-School Planning Programs (4) Job Corps Website (5) Job Corps Turned 50 today. Here are four people the program helped. (6) National Coalition for Campus Children's Centers: Welcome!

Topics: Opportunity Youth

 

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