More than two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet with First Gentleman Bob Eaves and hear him talk about a new program that he was piloting called Students@Work. The program and its goals were simple: Engage the business community to help connect Middle School students to their school work through job shadowing or mentoring. It was so simple but so impactful if done well.
As a successful business owner, Eaves understood, like many other business leaders, that encouraging kids to stay in school will have an overall positive impact upon the state of North Carolina.
Young people who see a world of possibilities for their futures are much more likely to work hard and stay in school. Studies have found that students who become disengaged from their education in middle school are much more likely to drop out during high school. In fact, the California Dropout Research Project in 2008 found that failing a single middle school class substantially increases the likelihood of a student not completing high school, and we all understand the long-term repercussions of dropping out. Our state’s economy and the social fabric of our communities are negatively impacted when students don’t complete their high school education.
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