The truth is that life is full of obstacles, no matter what your age. If you are reading this newsletter, you have already overcome hundreds of obstacles, evidenced by the fact that you are in a professional position succeeding in your chosen career.
Yet, very few of us ever had to face obstacles in middle school or high school like those faced by adolescent girls living in Wards 5, 7, and 8 in DC; or in communities in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, or Clarksburg in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County has one of the largest concentrations of unaccompanied child immigrants in the United States. For the past three years, thousands of youth from Central America have enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools each year. Many arrived in this country after perilous journeys and have since had to cope with difficult economic and family situations. Nearly a quarter of these children fleeing violence in Central America have been adolescent girls who have experienced multiple forms of victimization. In the County, 53% of the girls we serve are Latina.
In DC, we see other issues. In spite of the progress made by DCPS, far too many youth are not graduating. In some schools where we serve, the graduation rate is as low as 37%. Crittenton girls are far more likely to successfully move from middle school to high school and from high school to graduation. Our evaluation data proves that 100% of Crittenton girls graduate!
The steps are incremental. Often, it is difficult to know if our messages about goal setting, working hard to succeed, and believing in one’s inner strength are being heard. So when Sharyn and Ericka share their girls’ experiences and their success, we know that our work is making a positive difference.
I am proud to work with such a great team of women who ensure that every girl we serve is promoted to the next grade and graduates from high school!
Read the stories for yourself and you will also be proud that you support our work as a member of the Crittenton Family. We are completing this school year having served over 450 girls every week for 26 weeks in 11 schools in 35 groups! The legacy of empowering girls, young women, and their families for 129 years will continue throughout the summer and into the next school year. Before you start your summer vacation, please take a minute to save the date for our annual celebration on November 9th.
Warm regards and happy summer to all,