What Do We Want for Our Youth?
This workbook is designed to help communities provide the support, skills, opportunities, and the challenges that at-risk youth need to become productive adults. The publication offers information about participating in community forums that explore how to focus on community expectations, community problems, and community solutions. The workbook includes exercises to help communities determine the types of problems its youngsters face, such as physical and sexual abuse from family members, abuse from peers, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and alcohol and drug abuse. The workbook focuses on unemployment among adolescents. The authors state that nationwide, youth who have dropped out of school without the needed skills for employment represent a $20 billion annual loss for business, industry, and state and local government. The authors suggest that community forums must consider how they can help their youngsters become prepared for entry-levels jobs. According to the workbook, communityforums will eventually be able to determine whether or not their programs are solving the problems associated with youth. Some forums may begin assessing whether or not their communities are devoting adequate public and private resources to the young people who are at risk and whether or not the problems associated with youth at risk are solvable. The workbook contains a questionnaire that is designed to help provide a profile of a specific community's problems and possible ways of approaching those problems.