The lifetime cost of one dropout is $292,000 to taxpayers and a life of unrealized potential for every dropout. This is unacceptable and JAG exists to turn that untapped potential into a successful future for every student.
Every student that drops out of high school is 63% more likely to be incarcerated. They are less likely to participate in democracy with only 4% voting. Dropouts are twice as likely to live in poverty and will experience unemployment rates at 12% or greater despite healthy economic conditions. Young women who give up on high school are nine times more likely to become young single mothers.
Even if dropouts escape incarceration, avoid significant likelihood of chronic health issues, and are able to get actually get a job, their earning power is diminished to $20,241 annually ($10,000 lower than high school graduate and $36,000 lower than a person with a bachelors).
Alabama JAG meets dropout-bound students in some of the most difficult situations and leads them to a future of possibility. Last year in Alabama, the public and private sector came together to invest $1.8 million in JAG programs. Of the 303 dropout-bound students, 308 graduated (98.83%). That's a lifetime savings and return on investment of over $96 million to Alabama and amazing youth potential given a fair chance at a better life. And, a better life for them, is a better life for all of Alabama.
We are committed to serving every dropout-bound student in Alabama. We have the program model to do the job. We only need caring and committed public and private partners to do the rest. There are 12,000 Alabama students who aren't likely to make graduation this year. And, the same will happen next year. Unless we stand together for a better future for them and all of Alabama.
JAG stands ready, come stand with us and positively change lives for generations to come.