Site Spotlight: YMCA Strive by Hailey Droogan '19

Every twenty six seconds a teenager makes the choice to drop out of high school, and thus gives up on their education (nces.ed.gov). Why is this statistic so high? Why are students dropping out so often? High school is hard and teenagers can be cruel, but all of us got through it. Why can’t everyone else?

ymcaManchester Public Schools serve a large and diverse student population. Although 60% of students are White-Non Hispanic, there is a large Hispanic and African American population, and all together this school district represents just shy of 14,000 students (education.nh.gov). Despite serving so many students, the district is underfunded and understaffed. In a school comprised of a multitude of students and not enough staff, there are students that are forgotten about—students who others assume won’t amount to much, students who are perceived to lack the bright future many of us were guaranteed.

There is nothing concrete that makes these students different than others; their education must also be valued. These students simply need extra guidance and support, which they often cannot find within the school system. These students need a mentor like you, a college student who they can relate to and someone that understands the struggles of high school. Someone that inspires the students to ask: “If they can do it, why can’t I?”

IMG_3322The YMCA in Manchester offers a program called STRIVE, which serves and supports students that have been recently suspended or expelled. The program provides an academic environment to complete necessary course work along with life skills classes to better their daily lives. As a volunteer at STRIVE, you may have a role as a tutor, but you are not just someone that helps students with their homework. You become a mentor and a friend to these students. You become a role model.

Education is a right, not a privilege. No student deserves to be underrepresented in the school system, but everyone deserves the support provided by YMCA STRIVE. If you want to get involved and make an impact, please contact me at hdroogan@anselm.edu.