Children are the Future: Let’s Listen

Everyone knows that children are our future, and the city of Boston put their money where their mouth is. Boston recently held the “Youth Lead the Change” project, with help from the Participatory Budgeting Project. This was the first youth-led participatory budgeting process in a U.S. city which empowered young people, ages 12 to 25, to decide where 1 million dollars of public capital should go to best improve their communities. [1]

Participating youth were able to vote in four categories for projects that would better their communityvia text and voting stations. Projects had to be for brick and mortar …read more

Homeless Children – Across the Nation and Here in Baltimore

homeless (Photo credit: Bagunçêiro)

Across the nation, The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that approximately 550,000 unaccompanied, single young adults (up to age 24) experience a homelessness episode longer than one week – and while it’s difficult to track homeless youth, it is estimated that 380,000 are under 18 years old. Here at home, the number of Baltimore City Public School students identified as homeless doubled between 2008 – 2013; with 2,716 homeless students identified in the 2012-13 school year.

Children are considered homeless when they lack a fixed, regular and adequate night-time place of residence including:

Sharing …read more

Overcoming the Prison Epidemic

Prison Bar(code)

Baltimore City detention center has made headlines after a scandal revealed the inmates were running the show and had been employing guards to smuggle in cell phones, food and drugs. Mother Jones recently produced a list of the top 10 worst prisons and the horrors that occur within their walls. In Louisiana, one in 86 adults is in prison. After release, ex-offenders are 38 times more likely to be unemployed than non-offenders.

Violence in prisons is nothing new; any TV show from OZ to The Wire will tell you that. In 2003, Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act, …read more

Before Violence Starts

Last week I was watching the 11 o’clock news – as uncommon as it may be – it’s still the way I consume what’s happening (or rather making news) in Baltimore. It was an all too frequent night with a “late breaking news” report of a double shooting. Admittedly, I held my breath – not again, not here. Inside, I was hoping that at the very least it wasn’t too close to home. That somehow an incident farther away, where drug and gang activity ran reckless, would make it “easier” to make sense of it.Nope, not so lucky. More importantly, …read more

Childhood Obesity Rates Starting to Decline

For decades, child obesity rates have been on the rise throughout the country. At present, 12.5 million people under the age of 20 are overweight or obese.

However, this trend might finally be reversing. For the first time in 30 years, several American cities are reporting their first declines. In places like New York and Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Nebraska the number of obese school-aged children have dropped from 3 to 5.5%. The state of Mississippi has also registered a drop, but only among white students.

While these numbers may seem small at …read more

The Price of Education

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was doing what she did every day; coming home from school, when two men stopped the bus she was riding in and shot her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also shot. Yousafzai remains in critical condition but has luckily not suffered any lasting brain damage.

The man responsible for the attack on the Peshwar native is one of the Taliban’s most feared commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

The young girl and the dangerous leader have a long history. In 2009, the then 11-year-old Malala went toe-to-toe with the man nicknamed “Radio …read more

New York City’s Plan B to Stem Teen Pregnancy

The New York City Department of Education has started offering Plan B emergency contraception to high school students in 13 of the city’s high schools. The pills will be made available, free of charge, to students through the school nurse without parental consent or notification. Parents do have the option to opt out of the emergency contraception program for their teens at the school. However, only 1-2% of parents have opted out of the program, according to the Department of Education.

The emergency contraception is being offered as a part of CATCH- Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health – which aims …read more

Update: Delhi Charter School Ordered to Cease Pregnancy Test on “Suspect” Students

Yesterday, we shared a controversial policy implemented by Delhi Charter School. This Louisiana school’s policy requires girls who are “suspected” of being pregnant to take a pregnancy test. If the pregnancy is confirmed or student refuses to be tested, she is then kicked out of the school.

Here is a brief update on the policy: Last night, state officials from the Louisiana State Department of Education ordered the school to “change the policy within a week or face sanctions.”

According to an article in The Guardian, the school did not have an immediate response to the demand, however, the principal, …read more

Kids Today: Not to Blame for Joblessness

Youth have long been associated with laziness. Does “Get a job, hippie,” sound familiar? According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), however, kids today aren’t totally to blame for their joblessness.

A recent ILO report on youth employment states that, because of the economic crisis, the global youth unemployment rate has skyrocketed since 2007, reaching an all-time high at nearly 75 million and effectively wiping out the gains made in previous years.

The employment future for people aged 15-24 looks equally dim as the ILO estimates that the unemployment rate is expected to reach 12.7 percent by the end of …read more

America Ranks Second in Child Poverty

A new report from UNICEF has found that thirty million children live in poverty in thirty-five of the richest countries in the world. Of these countries, the U.S. ranks second behind Romania in relative child poverty – far behind other developed countries like Canada and the U.K.

The director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, Sheldon Danziger, says of the report, “Among rich countries, the U.S. is exceptional. We are exceptional in our tolerance of poverty.”

Read more or get involved.

Julia Krieger

Project Specialist

Campaign Consultation, Inc.