It’s too easy to get lost in high school these days.
Counseling offices are understaffed and overburdened. Hands-on learning opportunities that engage our teenagers – computer programming, electrical engineering, welding, etc. – are too often eliminated. Over the past 15 years, Oregon schools cut career technical education programs nearly in half. I’m the grandmother of a high school student. I see firsthand how important these courses are for engaging our kids, especially our young men.
That’s why this year, I’ve jumped into Stand’s work with two feet. More than ever before, Stand Oregon is laser-focused on advancing their kids-first mission: to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, college or career training.
By hosting house parties, collecting signatures and attending trainings, I’m constantly learning more ways to help interrupt the status quo, and give our high school students the tools they need to succeed in college or in their career. Collectively, parents, grandparents and community members are lining up alongside me are finally addressing Oregon’s graduation rate --- the fourth worst in the country – in a focused way. We are working to bring back and expand career technical education, dropout prevention services and early college credit options.
It takes a village, and I’m proud to be a part of it.