It helps homeless students get their high school diplomas.
Frederick, Md (KM). The six-week New Horizons Frederick program begins Monday, June 26th for several homeless students in Frederick County Public Schools. It provides classroom instruction in the morning, and the kids go to their jobs in the afternoon. “Our goal at New Horizons Frederick is help these students, these high schoolers, essentially work toward essentially accomplishing and achieving a high school diploma,” says Ed Hinde, Executive Director of the Student Homeless Initiative Partnership. “We know without that diploma, they are at a great disadvantage for the future of their life.”
The high school graduation rate for homeless students in Frederick County is 69%. The overall graduation rate for the entire school system is 96%, the School System says.
The program began last summer at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. This year, with the help of a $35,000 Community Partnership Grant from Frederick County, New Horizons Frederick has been expanded to students from Frederick and Tuscarora High Schools.
Hinde says just like last year at TJ High, students taking part in the New Horizons Frederick will get the opportunity to visit Frederick Community College. He says after that, many of the students believe that a college education is within their grasp. “What we heard verbatim from several students, they never thought that this was achievable. That they could actually access community college,” he said.
He says New Horizons Frederick will work with students who want to attend college, or try something else. “For some of those who desire to move beyond high school into a college setting, absolutely, we want to provide support and resources to help them accomplish that objective,” he says.
As of May 31st, 2017, the Frederick County School System says there are 822 students attending public schools who are homeless.
For more information on New Horizons Frederick or SHIP, call 240-415-8971, or send an e-mail to info@ShipFrederick.com.
One other goal, says Hinde, is to show these students that they don’t have to be homeless for the rest of their lives. “We want to help these kids to shake off their circumstances, and the conditions they have lived in for some time to break that cycle of poverty. That’s what this is really all about,” he says.
By Kevin McManus