SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Upcoming Community Forum
By Karen Eakes


January 31, 2011
Monday PM

Ketchikan cares about its young people. We want them to be healthy, safe and educated for a productive future. Those that choose to drop out of high school are often making a short-term decision that has long-term consequences for the individuals involved and for their communities.

Did you know that every high school dropout costs taxpayers $292,000 over his/her lifetime in reduced taxable earnings and higher social costs? Did you know that on average, lifetime earnings are $260,000 less without a high school diploma? What about the projection that 80% of the jobs created in the next ten years will require at least a two-year technical degree?

These are just a few of the attention getting statistics that have been researched by national organizations that are concerned about the high school dropout statistics in our country.  We here in Ketchikan should have the same concerns.

The Empowering Youth taskforce of the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition has been researching this issue and has presented some of their findings to the School Board, City Council, Borough Assembly and the Chamber of Commerce. In partnership with the Ketchikan School District and School Board, we are holding a community-wide forum to share this information with a wider audience and to seek your ideas as to what we can do as a community, as parents and as a school system to keep our young people in school.

This participatory forum featuring small group discussions will be held on February 22nd from 6:30 – 8:30 at Schoenbar Middle School.  Please come to share your ideas and to listen to others. We can and must change this cycle and raise the graduation rate in Ketchikan – for the future of our youth, our families and our community.

Karen Eakes
Ketchikan, AK


Received January 28, 2011 - Published January 31, 2011


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Ketchikan, Alaska