We believe that every child has a gift, talent and purpose that the world is in need of. Our goal is to unlock hidden potential and cultivate young minds by inspiring environments of learning through quality art programming. Studies show that students who are passionate about learning early on in Childhood are 5 times more likely to earn a college degree.

In Chicago, 1 in 3 teens living in underserved communities do not complete high-school…we seek to change this.  Studies show some of the preventable factors for not completing high-school includes:

  1. Academic difficulty and failure. Struggling in school and failing classes is one of the main reasons teens drop out, and this pattern often shows up early. Students who fail eighth grade English or math, for example, are seventy-five percent more likely to drop out of high school.
  2. Poor attendance. Teens who struggle in school are also absent a lot, and along with academic failure, absenteeism is an important future predictor for dropping out. As with the previous example, students who are absent for twenty percent of their eighth grade year (one day per week) are also highly likely to drop out in high school.
  3. Being held back (retention). Linked to academic difficulty, students who are held back and who are older than the kids in their grade also tend to drop out.
  4. Disengagement from school. Many kids who drop out say that school was boring and teachers did little to connect learning to real life. They didn’t feel invested in their school and they didn’t feel that adults seemed interested in them or their high school experience.
  5. Safety. Bullying and safety concerns play a significant role in high school attainment.
  6. Other life factors. Pregnancy, family problems, and financial difficulties are all factors that distract a student from schoolwork and make keeping up more challenging.

To address these preventable factors, I Am We is dedicated to raising awareness on how citizens can help and get involved. Additionally, to provide programming that focuses on social development through art, peer and community support and STEAM based models that gives students (both children and teens) the ability to learn, share, and become thought leaders that we know they can become. According to the National Endowment of the Arts, students who have access to the arts and quality programming are 5 times more likely to complete high school and three times more likely to earn a bachelors degree. We believe by investing in young minds early, we are investing in a more united and better prepared Chicago.

Get involved today by donating, volunteering, or becoming a program partner.

Source:  Understanding Why Students Drop Out of High School, According to Their Own Reports