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Central Office Research and Background

Section 3

Why do these numbers matter?

Thank you to Damon Tabor

When children grow-up in poverty and at-risk circumstances, there is a cumulative affect that is hard to off-set once they have reached adulthood. Broken down to its parts, research demonstrates that poverty significantly affects children in many ways. Some of these links include: • • • •

As the Executive Director of the Vermont Mentoring Partnership, Damon has been a strong ally of mentoring programs around the state. DREAM has been continually impressed with the progress Damon has made with the young organization and is grateful for the support VMP provides. DREAM also applauds the attitude with which he approaches his work, remaining focused on providing tangible benefits for Vermont’s mentoring programs and children. Thank you Damon!

Adolescent girls in poverty are much more likely to become teen mothers Those who experienced poverty as children are much more likely to be poor as adults Poverty in early childhood is especially associated with lower cognitive scores and school achievement Increasing supervision during non-school hours reduces opportunities for youths to engage in highrisk behaviors.

Furthermore, research demonstrates that poverty significantly influences student behavior, attitudes and academic achievement: “The percentage of low-income students in a school directly affects test scores. Poverty also increases levels of community risk, which can lead to harmful behaviors and lower achievement.” In 1999, 11.0% of American students from families in the lowest 20% of the income distribution dropped out of high school; from the middle 60%, 5.0% dropped out; from the top 20% 2.1% dropped out. High School Drop-Out Rates

% Teens Who Are High School Dropouts (2000)







Is Mentoring the Solution? Mentoring has emerged over the last decade as a an effective method of preventing some of the dire consequences for which living in poverty can result. A Public/Private Venture study on Big Brothers Big Sisters of America quantified some of the amazing results that having a caring adult in the life of an at-risk child can produce. Results showed that children with a mentor: • • • • •

Are 46% less likely to start using drugs Are 27% less likely to start drinking alcohol Have 52% fewer skipped days of school Have a higher overall grade point average Are less likely to engage in sexual activity after school

Research Drawn from:

Annie E. Casey Foundation: and Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Public/Private Ventures, September 2000; When and Where do Teens Have Sex: The Role of Adult Supervision. 32

The DREAM Program, Annual Reports, Annual Report, 2002  
The DREAM Program, Annual Reports, Annual Report, 2002  

The DREAM Program's annual report!