America’s Promise targets at-risk youth

Over the next five years, America’s Promise Alliance aims to change the lives of 15 million disadvantaged kids across the U.S.

Announced as the group celebrates its 10th anniversary, the “15 in 5” campaign will work to provide more wrap-around services it sees as critical for at-risk youth, with a priority goal of increasing high school completion rates.

To do that, the Alliance is advancing three primary strategies.

The first aims to enroll the 6.5 million children who qualify for insurance coverage through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or Medicaid, but who have yet to sign up.

Another will involve all middle-school kids in service learning and career exploration with the goal of increasing their motivation to achieve in school, in their communities and at work.

The Alliance also will focus delivery of critical services in the places where disadvantaged youth gather, including schools and after-school programs.

Planning efforts for achieving the goals of the new campaign are underway, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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