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Youth Opportunities Unlimited is a summer residential program for Arkansas high school students at risk of dropping out of school. During 1989-91, 517 14- and 15-year-old students completed the program, which consisted of two academic classes, a job skills class, and paid employment during 60 days residence on a university campus. Additional support services included health and dental care, counseling, and recreation. A follow-up component involved regular monthly contact with each participant; exit interviews; interviews with family and counselor; data collection on grades, attendance, and graduation; and an annual retreat for all former participants. A personality questionnaire was completed before and after the program and at annual retreats. Maintenance of monthly contact was very successful, and in many cases, became a lifeline for students. The program lost contact with only 10 students. Of the 507 contacts maintained, 19 students graduated, 5 received GEDs, 456 are still in school, 2 died, and 25 are not in school. There were no significant changes in grades or attendance. Self-esteem and attitudes improved as a result of the program and remained positive over time. (SV)

Descriptors: Dropout Prevention, Followup Studies, High Risk Students, High School Students, High Schools, Residential Programs, Summer Programs, Youth Programs

Autor: Steinmiller, Georgine; Steinmiller, Robert


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