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Montgomery County Public Libraries Enroll First Students in Career Online High School Diploma Program

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, joined by Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Director Parker Hamilton and Karen Radulovich from Gale Cengage Learning officially recognize the first enrollees in MCPL’s recently-launched Career Online High School Diploma. MCPL is the first library system in Maryland to launch the Career Online High School, which is the world’s first accredited, private online school district. This past June MCPL began accepting applications for the program. Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce. Currently, more than 60,000 adults over the age of 25 in Montgomery County lack a high school degree or equivalent. There are five candidates officially enrolled in the program. Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum from child care and education to certified transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students have 18 months to complete the program; however, by transferring in previously earned high school credits, students may complete the program in as little as six months. More information about Career Online High School by calling Adrienne Van Lare at 240-777-0036 or email at

Youth First Initiative Poll Shows that Americans Favor Rehabilitation Over Incarceration for Youth

A study conducted in January 2016 through the Youth First Initiative surveyed 1000 Americans in 50 states, finding that most Americans want less incarceration for youth and more prevention and rehabilitation instead. 67% of the survey participants ages 18-29 thought that youth prisons should be closed, and the funds should be redirected to community based preventative programs. Similarly, 83% of all survey participants agreed that financial incentives should be provided to states and programs that offered alternatives to incarceration, like job training, education, and rehabilitation. 70% of all survey participants believed that states must take an active role in reducing racial and ethnic inequities within the juvenile justice system. Overall, the majority of Americans want to see fewer youth involved in the prison system. To learn more about the work Youth First is doing, visit FYI: Programs in our Community Project Youth ArtReach provides art programs to juvenile offenders in correctional facilities, rehabilitation, or probation to enhance their cognitive and social development as well as teaching tolerance, respect for others, and problem solving.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Increases Support for Disconnected Youth

Governor Hogan’s new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act addresses the high rates of disconnected youth throughout Maryland by significantly improving aid programs and accessibility to them. This new act will increase the percentage of youth funding spent on out of school youth from 30% to 75%. It also increases the eligibility age from 21 to 24 so that more disconnected young adults can access job training and programs. 11 Maryland jurisdictions have higher rates of disconnected youth than the national average. This act is an attempt to reduce these rates and place out-of- school and out-of- work children back on the track to success. FYI: Programs in our Community The Ready By 21 Program works to ensure that youth will have sufficient education, a stable living situation, health care, financial stability, and support by the age of 21. For more information, visit

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents

Mentors can make a big difference to any child, but especially a child whose parent is not around. Children of incarcerated parents are at a greater risk of financial instability, emotional distress, and problems at school. It is important for these children to maintain a healthy, positive relationship with their incarcerated parent to reduce these risks. There are many mentor programs geared toward helping children of incarcerated parents by providing them with an adult role model. Contact Pathway to Services at 301-354-4908 for more information about programs for children of incarcerated parents in Montgomery County. FYI

“White House, OJJDP Hold Listening Session on Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents”: A session was held to discuss mentoring strategies and honor 12 “Champions of Change” for their work with children of incarcerated parents.

Community Bridges Girls Program encourages at-risk girls to work with mentors to develop confidence, healthy relationships, and leadership skills. Call 301-585-7155 to learn more or to get involved.

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