According to Measure of America's most recent report, Nationwide 13.8% of young people in this age group are not connected to either school or employment. In Santa Fe, these numbers are even higher per capita. Approximately 16%, or 2,600 youth ages 16-24 are neither in school or working in Santa Fe in 2009-20013. (See Figure Below). The percentage of youth who are not connected to school or employment increases with age. For 16-18 year olds 10% are not connected. This percentage almost doubles for 19-21 year olds (19%) and 22-24 year olds (21%) in Santa Fe.
The effects of disconnected youth ripples through the community. Nationally, it costs taxpayers $93 Billion annually for lost tax revenue and social services for an estimated 6.7 million youth who are not in school or employed. Beyond the financial cost, there is a social cost as well which impacts the community in multiple ways including though social services, the criminal justice system, and employment.
On the national level, the issue of youth who are not in school or employed is gaining momentum, and this is also true in Santa Fe. Many local organizations and programs such as YouthWorks, Youth Shelters, Santa Fe Mountain Center, and Santa Fe Public Schools are working to engage and support disconnected and at risk youth. Santa Fe is part of the Presidential My Brother’s Keeper Initiative which is designed to address opportunity gaps for young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Additionally, the Santa Fe Birth to Career Collaboration and the City of Santa Fe are working with many partners to improve, expand, and coordinate efforts.
- SF B2C Disconnected Youth Dashboard
- Notes from Opportunity Santa Fe Community Summit 2015. Disconnected Youth Breakout Session
- National Resources