For the café at Waite, student leaders from Young Men of Excellence and Young Women of Excellence were trained to be facilitators. They asked their peers open-ended questions to help illuminate the challenges they face. The students spoke freely about peer pressure, basic necessities and family life as they shared what keeps many from attaining a high school diploma.
Café conversations were also held with parents of junior high school students and high school students. They were asked what they feel their children and families need to support students successfully graduating from high school. The responses from parents varied from practical (e.g., books, computers and reliable transportation) to crucial supports for sociological issues like male role models and a safe neighborhood.
After café conversations with the different stakeholder groups throughout East Toledo and the Old South End, we identified three drivers of the challenge:
- Students have increased adult responsibilities
- Students’ basic needs are not being met
- Students lack parental support.
We’ll be sharing more on our findings soon. Please check back.