BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge is one of nine sites to get a new grant from the federal government that is centered around youth that are labeled "at-risk."
More than 5 million people in the US between the ages of 14 and 24 are not in school or working, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
That is why a new program is being tested that will give more guidance to young people who may be young parents, homeless, in foster care, in the juvenile system or in danger of dropping out.
"We have been back and forth over how can we solve some of these problems to help children and things they're going through," said Mayor Kip Holden.
The Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth (P3) initiative brings together youth advocates in healthcare, education and employment to invest in young people who have fallen through the cracks.
"This program here puts them on track so they can learn better and don't have to stay out of school," said Holden.
City officials say the P3 grant is an opportunity to help those who really need it. It will be run by the Baton Rouge Partnership Advisory Council, which includes the Mayor's Office, the LSU Office of Social Service Research and Development, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Baton Rouge Community College, East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Juvenile Services and Employ BR.
Two schools in Baton Rouge have been identified as meeting the program's guidelines: Greenville Superintendent Academy and Northdale Superintendent Academy.
Students at both schools are said to be at least two years behind grade level. Already they get accelerated instruction to get them caught up, but now a special grant hopes to help even more.
"Make them more of a success story rather than them walking around on the streets," said Holden.
The program's hope is to show someone's zip code should not determine the outcome of their life.
Along with Baton Rouge, the other P3 pilot sites are:
- Broward County, Florida
- Chicago, Illinois
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Los Angeles, California
- The State of Oklahoma
- Seattle, Washington
- Southeastern Kentucky, including Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, and Perry Counties
- Ysleta del Sur Pueblo
The program will be discussed more at next month's Metro Council meeting.