YVS targets a specific population of youth who have previously dropped out, are homeless or otherwise at risk. Our students face adversity and come from communities where education is undervalued.

Studies have shown that youth dropout because they are failing, have no family support, are not prepared in middle school, don’t get along with their teachers, undervalue education, have low self esteem, have real life events interfere such as getting a job, becoming a parent, or having to care for a family member.

Kids who drop out are at greater risk of unemployment, poverty, substance abuse, incarceration, having poor health, receiving public assistance, and becoming divorced and single parents with children who drop out from high school themselves, – all of which will cost the state and communities (Michigan’s Children 2010). The dropout problem is more severe in minority communities. A recent report released by University of Michigan education researchers indicates only 33 percent of African-American males in the state of Michigan graduate from high school compared to 74 percent of their Caucasian counterparts (University of Michigan January 2010). Forty-six percent of Michigan’s Persistently Low Achieving Schools (42 of 92 total) are from the Detroit Public Schools (Michigan Department of Education).