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The Cost of Dropping Out

Patch editor Lindsay Toler chronicles her journey through the United Way's volunteer initiative Education Express. For more info, log on to https://www.stl.unitedway.org/EducationExpress.aspx

The statistics on high school dropouts are staggering.

More than 1 million children drop out of school each year, costing more than $240 billion in lost earnings, forgone tax revenues and expenditures for services, according to the United Way. A high school drop out earns $9,200 less per year than a graduate.

The national graduation rate is 72 percent, and luckily Missouri is slightly higher than that at 75 percent.

Communities with low graduation rates and high dropout rates also have high rates of unemployment, poor health, drug use and crime. More than 60 percent of state prison inmates don’t have a high school diploma, and it costs $13,000 more to incarcerate someone than to educate them.

These are the numbers driving the United Way’s Education Express program. The idea is to get community members who care about their neighborhoods (like Patchers!) to spend some time nurturing and encouraging kids so they won’t be part of the dropout rate.

There are four ways to help Education Express get more kids graduating: You can sign up to be a tutor, mentor, homework helper or reading partner. Each of these jobs matches you with a student who needs that extra push to succeed in school!

I’m signed up. Are you?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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