Economic Despair and Education

August 11, 2014

High school can be a difficult time—even for those of us with stable and safe homes, caring adult mentors, safe neighborhoods, and enough healthy food to eat. For many, there’s a confidence that we’ll move onto positive things after high school . . . college, careers, family. But what if you don’t have all those things going for you? What if you don’t see much of a future for yourself at all?

Young people growing up near or below the national poverty line (which for 2013, was an income of just $23,550 for a family of four) too often don’t have this same confidence. They frequently don’t have a safe place to live, enough healthy food to eat, or available, positive adults to serve as mentors. For many young people, the psychological strain of this reality is devastating and demoralizing.

A recent article by The Washington Post highlights what a new study calls “economic despair.” When young people see others around them—peers, family, parents, and other adult figures—failing to graduate from school and move on to successful careers, they begin to believe that they won’t either. And without positive role models and mentors to offer another perspective, this “economic despair” takes over, and many young people simply stop trying.

tCI programs work against this mentality to help at-risk young people see futures full of positive options. With a diverse, interconnected group of programs ranging from scholarship funds to music and other art programs, tCI programs are able to make a profound impact on young people before they make bad decisions regarding school, drugs, or gangs.

By narrowing your desired area of impact on our programs page, you can direct your donation to any specific program of your choice. You can also give to broader categories of programs, such as violence prevention, youth programs, or leadership development.

Whatever you choose, 95% of your donation goes directly to tCI programs in communities to help young people build futures full of options.

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