Q: What is the commonly understood definition of disconnected youth?
A: Disconnected youth are young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who often are neither in school nor fully employed and who lack the education level, job skills, emotional and financial resources, and social supports necessary to chart a safe and secure course to adulthood.
Q: How many disconnected youth are there in the United States today?
A: Current statistics estimate the number of disconnected youth in the United States at nearly 6 million. Many have gone through the foster care system and “aged out” while others are high school dropouts, teen parents, adjudicated youth, homeless youth, and other disenfranchised and marginalized young people. In Maryland alone, the number reaches over 20,000.
Q: Does New Pathways only serve foster care youth?
A: While historically, foster care youth has been our primary focus, we are committed to serving all disconnected youth in the greater Baltimore community. With the exception of our licensed independent living programs dedicated for foster and juvenile services youth, all our programs are open to eligible young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are in need of our services.
Q: Is New Pathways a government agency?
A: No. We are a private, non-profit organization. Our operating funds come from both government agencies as well as private foundations, philanthropies, local businesses, and interested individuals.
Q: Does New Pathways ever partner with other like-minded organizations?
A: New Pathways believes that collaboration with other like-minded organizations and individuals is in the best interest of our young clients and we are always open to productive partnerships that champion the cause of disconnected young people.
Q: What is the solution to the challenge of nearly 6 million disconnected youth in the United States?
A: There is not one answer. What we do know, however, is that these young adults must not be treated as statistics, but as talented individuals with unique challenges who – given the chance- can become self-sufficient adults leading full and productive lives.