An image of President Obama at the National Urban League Centennial
Dear Friend, approved

As we work toward a world where every child has an equal opportunity for success, cheapest we cannot ignore the disparities that exist in our education system. While the national graduation rate has climbed to a still less than acceptable 71 percent, more about the average high school graduation rate in the nation’s 50 largest cities stands at a devastatingly low 53 percent – an 18 percent gap.  In some cities, including Indianapolis, Cleveland and Detroit, graduation rates are less than 40 percent. Urban students in some areas have graduation rates at least 35 percentage points lower than their suburban neighbors.[frame_left][/frame_left]

These inequities put at risk the futures of millions of young people, as well as the economic future of our nation.   We know that education is the number one predictor of future success, with earnings rising at each level of educational attainment, beginning with a high school diploma.  Conversely, we know that high-school drop-outs are more likely to end up unemployed, in jail and living in poverty.  And at a time when we are facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, along with increased competition in the global economy, it is more important than ever that we produce the most prepared and best educated workforce in the world.  Every child counts and every child deserves a chance to succeed.

For more than 50 years, the National Urban League’s Education and Youth Development division has worked to improve educational opportunities for African-American students through the development of policies and programs that focus on early childhood education, college preparedness and youth leadership programs. Project Ready prepares adolescents for the critical transition from high school to college and/or professional work by focusing on academic development, social development, cultural and global awareness.  Read and Rise engages parents in early literacy development by providing them with hands-on experience and skills to work with their child to build and encourage early reading development. And the League’s Youth Summit, an annual development forum for urban youth ages 14-18 focusing on postsecondary success, career exploration, financial literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

These and other important education and youth development programs like charter schools, preschool and after-school activities are made possible with your financial support. Please contribute today and help us continue to prepare for every American child for college, work and life.

Have a blessed and joyful holiday season!


Your friends at the National Urban League

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