How to Encourage Teens to Stay in School by Jesus Zeus Salas
Jesus Zeus Salas is a strong supporter of the Miami-Dade Public School System. Encouraged by his recent participation in the Principal for a Day Program, Jesus Zeus Salas has formed a commitment to improving education in Miami, and encouraging teens to stay in school and take advantage of all the opportunities that a thorough education has to offer. Jesus Zeus Salas offers the following tips for getting teens to stay in school:
1. Focus on the Future
For many teens who want to drop out of high school, there is a distinct disconnect between what they want now and their understanding of how it will affect them in the future. Remind teens that in today’s world, professional success relies heavily on not only a high school but college education, and that earning power is highly correlated with level of educational completion. Plus, teens gain crucial job skills in school, from reading, writing, and math abilities to skills relating to communication and problem solving.
2. Talk About Health
According to the Center for Disease Control, those who complete high school are less likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors like drug abuse and heavy drinking. Young women who stay in school are also less likely to have an unplanned pregnancy. In addition, schools frequently offer a way for financially disadvantaged students to have access to basic health care and healthy meals. Teens may not realize the benefits that school can offer outside of a career path.
3. Offer Support
If the underlying cause of a teen’s desire to drop out of high school has to do with poor grades or a sense that education isn’t “for them,” identify problem areas. Many cities and towns offer free tutoring to struggling students through a school, library, or community center. Encouragement and role modeling at home helps, too. Place an emphasis on education in the home, and consider engaging in family activities like going to a museum or learning a new skill together.
4. Look For Alternatives
It’s entirely possible that an academic career may not be what your teen has their eye on for the future. However, dropping out still isn’t the answer. Talk to your teen about possibilities like trade school instead of a traditional four-year college. While your teen is in high school, find local professionals in a career that your teen might enjoy, and try to find job, internship, or apprenticeship opportunities.
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For more information about the importance of keeping teens in school, and advice on ways to prevent teens from dropping out, check out the following links: