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Detroit Youth Council

Education and Youth Advisory Council meets to Discuss Challenges facing Detroit Youth

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Detroit, November 8, 2013 – Local agencies gathered today at the Michigan State University Detroit Center on Woodward to discuss strategies and initiatives designed to support the young people of Detroit.
The meeting, convened by Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC), was the second of a series of regularly scheduled meetings designed to bring together all parties focused on improving the opportunities available to the next generation of Detroiters.

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Organizations present included a broad cross-section of groups ranging from educational institutions and philanthropic organizations to the Detroit Police Department and youth violence prevention groups.

“Our recent survey of over 1100 Detroit Youth from Cody, Osborn and Denby high schools showed that, over the last year, 83% had a family member or friend who had been wounded, disabled or murdered as a result of gun violence” said Annie Ellington, Director of the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. “How can a young person be expected to get a decent start if they have to face those kinds of traumatic issues as part of their everyday lives?”

“And the challenges don’t end there.” said Larry Good, Co-Founder and Chair of the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce. “26% of Metro Detroit Youth live in poverty – that’s the highest rate in the nation, and many of those youth wind up disconnected from opportunity.”

Stephanie Nixon, Ciara Ginyard and Carla Phelps of Detroit Employment Solutions went on to outline progress made on a recent visit to the Aspen Initiative which is funding an ‘Opportunity Youth’ initiative that DESC is developing in partnership with the lead grant holder, Excellent Schools Detroit.

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Detroit is one of 21 cities around the U.S. receiving funds from the Aspen Institute which will allow it to develop strategies to address the issues facing disconnected youth in the City of Detroit – strategies that rely heavily on development of a city-wide data repository to replace the multiple systems that currently exist. Detroit has the second-highest percentage of disconnected youth in the nation.

“Taking a joined-up approach to initiatives targeting youth is critically important,” said Pamela Moore, President and CEO of Detroit Employment Solutions. “At our last meeting, we heard from a number of Detroit Youth about the specific issues they face. This meeting today and those that will follow aim to start addressing some of those issues by developing real-world solutions to these significant everyday issues.”

For more information about Detroit Employment Solutions Youth Programs, please call the DESC Youth Hotline on 313-664-5624.