This is a worthy venture that LifeNets has given continual support to for the past ten years. Jerry Cook, founder and director writes this update:
Life GAPS began in 2000 with the purpose being to help “Turned-off Teens” in our Indiana county. Each year we have an approximate dropout rate of more than 25% between 9th grade and 12th grade. Our 4 county schools graduate about 300 students annually which means that nearly 100 teens drop out each year. That means that during the last 5 years there have been 500 dropouts in our county. Question – WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Are they employed? If so what type of job do they have? If not employed are they on welfare or are they in jail?
We estimate that it costs us taxpayers about $5,000 per year to educate one student. Do you know that it costs the taxpayers about $45,000 per year to house an individual in JAIL? Question – WHAT CAN WE DO TO CHANGE THAT?
Life GAPS deals with teens below age 16 while CROSSINGS prefers those between ages 16 and 21. In both cases we focus on academics, vocational skills, Job Training, and a faith-based approach to family living. Most of these teens are being raised in broken homes. We are dedicated to breaking that cycle of “battered teens” and giving them a strong basis for a satisfactory job / career and to raise a family in a positive home environment in their future.
We are pleased to have a team of parents, teachers, community leaders and groups like Life Nets who cooperate with us as we try to be a “Bridge over Troubled Waters” (CROSSING the GAPS in the lives of our “turned-off” teens.)
– Jerry Cook Wolcott, Indiana
More at http://www.lifenets.org/lifegaps