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ERIC Number: ED519450
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Disconnected Youth in the Research Triangle Region: An Ominous Problem Hidden in Plain Sight
Dodson, David; Guillory, Ferrel; Lipsitz, Joan; Raper, Noah; Rausch, Christina
MDC, Inc.
In September 2006, the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation commissioned MDC, Inc. of Chapel Hill to analyze the problem of "disconnected youth" in the Research Triangle region, determine the current state of the region's responses to the challenge, and recommend steps to deepen and accelerate action on the issue. The research process was multifaceted. MDC staff conducted background research on the factors that are correlated with youth disconnection, drawing heavily on a number of recent national studies produced in response to growing national concern about the issue. The authors conducted interviews with over two dozen key informants in local and county government, public schools, community-based organizations, and the business and faith community to gauge the depth of concern and quality of response among Triangle leaders. They surveyed more than 100 front-line community-based organizations that consider service to disadvantaged youth an important part of their mission, receiving responses from 53 organizations and substantive responses from more than 30. They scanned the nation for innovative examples of community, neighborhood, and agency strategies to address the challenge of disconnected youth. The resulting report contains: (1) A working definition and an analytic framework for exploring the issue of disconnected youth; (2) A data-based portrait of disconnected youth in the Triangle--who they are and where they live; (3) A strategy matrix for assessing the region's current efforts to remediate and prevent youth disconnection, based on national research on necessary interventions and promising strategies; and (4) Recommendations for program and policy action, including specific opportunities for the philanthropic and business communities particularly the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. They have chosen to focus the report on the question "what actions can lead to progress on the issue of disconnected youth?" Accordingly, MDC presents a menu of opportunities based on promising ideas in place in the Triangle and across the nation that will enable leaders and funders in the region to put disconnected youth on a secure pathway to productive adulthood. Attachments present: (1) Boston Compact and Improving Options and Outcomes for Disconnected Youth through Community Organizing and Engagement: A Tale of Two Cities; and (2) Organizations That Substantively Completed MDC Survey of Triangle-Area Programs for Disconnected Youth, Questionnaire for Organizations Working with Disconnected/At-Risk Youth, and Summary of Survey of Triangle Organizations Working with Disconnected Youth. A bibliography is included. (Contains 6 figures and 15 footnotes.)
MDC, Inc. P.O. Box 17268, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-7268. Tel: 919-968-4531; Fax: 919-929-8557; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation
Authoring Institution: MDC, Inc.