Getting on Track to Graduate High School
Today, across America, one-in-four high school students will not graduate.
Dropping out of high school has serious repercussions over a person’s life time. People who graduate high school are more likely to be employed and make more money over their life time ($600,000 more!) than their peers who dropped out. In fact, people with high school degrees are even more likely to have better health.
In Chicago, public school graduation rates hover at an even more abysmal 60%. It’s a serious problem with serious repercussions for our entire community. Chicagoland is actively seeking new ways to engage young people, curb high school attrition rates and safeguard teens’ future. What if you could help?
Each summer, Greenheart Travel organizes a special “full-ride” scholarship opportunity for economically disadvantaged Chicago high school students. The Environmental Service Learning Scholarship (ESLS) targets a particularly vulnerable Chicago population and provides a unique opportunity designed to inspire, engage and activate. ESLS students spend two weeks in Costa Rica, volunteering at a wild animal rescue center in the Costa Rican rain forest, living with Costa Rican host families, learning about conservation, and gaining valuable community development skills to lead a project in their own school or neighborhood.
Students from low-income households are significantly more at-risk of dropping out of high school. According to the US Department of Education, “In 2009, the event dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about five times greater than the rate of their peers from high-income families.”
By providing guided travel opportunities to young people, Greenheart puts these at-risk students on a track towards graduation. Studies show that at university level, students who study abroad are more likely to graduate on time (and with higher grades!) than their classmates who did not study abroad.
More importantly, this program bridges a major opportunities gap between low-income and affluent students, ensuring students stay on par with their peers.
National Summer Learning Association reports that “more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.”
You can help support a program that provides unique new opportunities, skills and resources to a young Chicagoan. Donate today to support the Environmental Service Learning Scholarship: your gift can lead the way to a student’s educational success and help change a life.
A past ESLS student wrote while in Costa Rica, “I’m learning that it is so good to try new things. If you don’t, you’ll never know what anything is. Stop being ordinary and be extraordinary.”
Be extraordinary and provide this extraordinary experience with us. You can make a difference. Donate now.