An Invitation to Work Together to Engage All Connecticut Youth

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39,000

More than one in five high school students are disengaged or disconnected in Connecticut.

  • Disengaged

    Disengaged youth are enrolled in high school but show signs of academic, behavioral, and/or attendance-related disengagement.

  • Disconnected

    Disconnected youth have not received a high school diploma or the equivalent, and are not enrolled in school despite being 21 or younger.

We must support our teachers and schools
in engaging every student.

The need is urgent and widespread, impacting almost every community in Connecticut.

113 school systems are each home to more than 50 disengaged or disconnected youth.

9,000 disengaged youth are from towns with above-average income levels.

Everyone's Responsibility

The needs of our young people require everyone in Connecticut to work together.

The Reality for Connecticut Youth

The stakes are higher than ever. Students who disconnect from school have a diminishing chance of finding stable employment. Disengaged and disconnected youth face significant life challenges.

From 2010 to 2016, 22,000 jobs were created for those with a college degree while 4,000 jobs were lost for those without a diploma.

Disconnected youth between the ages of 18 and 24 are 2.5 times more likely to be unemployed and cost the state four times as much for health care, corrections, and welfare.

Disconnected youth are 33% more likely to struggle with substance abuse and more than two times more likely to have health problems.

Black and Hispanic students are more than twice as likely to become disengaged or disconnected.

Disconnected youth are five times more likely to be incarcerated.

The Benefits for Connecticut

Engaging all Connecticut youth will result in significant benefits for civic society and the state’s economy.

If we engage half of the 39,000 disengaged and disconnected youth, the state would achieve:

  • 2,000 additional graduates
  • 8,000 more jobs for 18-35 year olds
  • 4,000 fewer people incarcerated
  • $3 billion additional gross state product

If we engage half of the 39,000 disengaged and disconnected youth, the state would achieve:

  • 2,000 additional graduates
  • 8,000 more jobs for 18-35 year olds
  • 4,000 fewer people incarcerated
  • $3 billion additional gross state product

Promising Points of Intervention

Effectively engaging youth in their 1st or 2nd year of high school can nearly double their chance of graduating.

Entering 1st Year of High School Disengaged

88 %

Graduation rate for successfully re-engaged students

48 %

Graduation rate for students remaining disengaged

Entering 2nd Year of High School Disengaged

66 %

Graduation rate for successfully re-engaged students

38 %

Graduation rate for students remaining disengaged

Three Pillars of Success

When schools and programs are effectively reaching disengaged and disconnected youth, they demonstrate the capacity to:

In every school and community, there are passionate individuals working hard to make a difference for young people. But changing the outcomes for all students requires broad coalitions and system-wide improvements. 

System-Level Improvements

The scale and widespread nature of the need in Connecticut calls for:

  • Stronger practice in schools
  • Supportive systems and policies
  • A coordinated research agenda

Want to solve the problem?

We invite everyone to come forward with their best proposals for innovative solutions to improve the lives and futures of disengaged and disconnected youth in Connecticut.

Untapped Potential: Engaging All Connecticut Youth

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