Send a Little Season’s Cheer with the Gift of Education!

Blog post submitted on behalf of Tess Mattingly, Research Associate at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. What is the value of an education? A new study by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston evaluates U.S. census data from 2009-2010 and outlines upsetting new details on the effects of dropping out of high school. Teens who do not complete high school are more likely to serve jail time, be unemployed, and rely on food stamps for basic nutrition. High school graduates pay an average of $5,000 in taxes each year and college graduates contribute on average almost $20,000 annually in taxes; however, high school dropouts run society a negative $1,510 on average each year. So how do we prevent this drain on society and better support our students here in Chicago? ‘Tis the season of giving, and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s New Year. Bright Future. allows you to give the gift of education, supporting students when they most need it. United Way’s Education Initiative intervenes at two key stages in a child’s education: between the ages of 0-5 to prepare them for Kindergarten and in middle school to make sure teens are on track to succeed in high school and graduate on time. The average gap in lifetime earnings between those who complete high school and those who don’t is $600,000. There is no question about it, communities, families and most importantly kids do better with a solid education. Give the gift of education this holiday season and be a part of United Way’s transformational vision to positively impact Chicago communities.

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