Our mission & why
PROVIDING HOPE, SUPPORT, AND GUIDANCE TO STUDENTS
ChallengeU’s mission is to provide hope, support, and guidance to students who left school before graduating, to so they can earn their high school diploma through a caring, personalized learning platform and community designed to advance their opportunities for employment, work post-secondary training, or enlistment in the armed services.
Every year, over 1.3 million students drop out of high school in the United States. About a third of high school freshmen in the United States fail to graduate from high school on time. Nearly half of Hispanic, Native American, and African American students who enter as ninth graders left high school in four years!
Instead of cultivating young minds and preparing the nation’s next generation of leaders, America’s high schools are hemorrhaging talent at an alarming rate of more than 7,000 students every school day! That’s a student every 26 seconds! In Virginia, over 8,000 students dropped out of school last year.
Over a lifetime, a high school dropout will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate and almost a million dollars less than a college graduate. Even when employed, high school dropouts earn about $8,000 a year less than high school graduates and approximately $26,500 a year less than college graduates. High school graduates not only increase their lifetime earnings but also produce returns to the public trust in the form of additional tax revenues based on individual income streams.
In the United States, over 75 percent of those incarcerated are high school dropouts. The nation could save as much as $18.5 billion in annual crime costs if the high school male graduation rate increased by only 5 percentage points. In addition, cutting the number of high school dropouts in half nationally would save $7.3 billion in annual Medicaid spending alone.
Students who leave school before graduating often struggle with overwhelming life circumstances that push school attendance and their academic pursuit further and further down on their priority list. Students depart not because of a particular event or factor, but because an accumulation of personal challenges and pain. This is the silent tragedy playing out in schools throughout the country and Virginia. We cannot continue to allow these students to enter today’s globally competitive marketplace ill-prepared and lacking the basic requirements.
Re-engaging these non-graduates and providing a conducive on-ramp back into education is not just a moral, social, or academic duty, but it is an economic necessity. Failing to educate this generation of students and the next will have a drastic short-and long-term impact on our shared economic well-being. ChallengeU believes we have an obligation to educate this population of students that we were not successful with initially and provide another opportunity for them to earn their high school diploma and change their trajectory in life, in their family, and in their community.