How does a child endure unspeakable hardship and still manage to succeed? What does it mean to save rather than give up on a child? When you read the stories of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF)'s Beat the Odds® award recipients, you'll find the answers. Too often we hear about teens getting into trouble, dropping out of school, getting involved with drugs, crime, and gangs, or becoming parents too soon.
When Howard Zinn passed away on January 27 at age 87, the nation mourned the loss of a pioneering historian and social activist who revolutionized the way millions of Americans, especially young Americans, understand our shared history. His writings and work inspired millions of readers, but I was among the generations of students privileged to know him as a beloved teacher, mentor, and friend. His first academic job after graduate study at Columbia University was at the historically Black, all-women Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, my alma mater.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday every January becomes an occasion for looking back at the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. As the celebration of the King Holiday leads into February and Black History Month, it's a time to consider not only how far we've come but how far we still have to go, and to reflect on some of the milestones in movement history. This year, one of those national and personal milestones is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
In these challenging economic times, when so many are struggling to keep their heads above water, life is toughest for children in broken families at the low end of the income scale. Yet despite struggling to live under the worst conditions, there are extraordinary young people who draw upon their inner strength to overcome the most daunting barriers.
"As we all look to a new year and pause to remember the highlights of the last one, the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is reflecting on a major milestone: 2008 marked our 35th anniversary. In October, we celebrated with a special event at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C."
"I'm always delighted to write columns about people who are doing what's right and good, especially when they're young. So I'd like to share with you a few of the inspiring stories of some of the high school seniors honored this spring at Beat the Odds® Awards events hosted by the Children's Defense Fund's Minnesota and Texas offices."
This report describes the various youth corps programs in existence and how these youth corps programs help address the needs of today's youth by stressing discipline and structure, reinforcement of basic skills, and how the corps provide dependable labor for community improvement projects.
This report provides an overview of the emerging youth service movement, focusing on some of the organizations and model programs that have reinforced and built upon the foundation of service in traditional civic, youth, and religious organizations. These new creative programs hope to tap a vast reservoir of youth talent and energy, channeling them into service activities to meet the nation's needs.
This report examines the direct relationship between youth employment, or lack thereof, to teen pregnancy, and how communities in providing opportunities for employment of youth, can help eleviate other issues, such as teen pregnancy and juvenile delinquency.