This is necessary!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau studies, more than 20% of Miami Dade County children live in “harshly distressed” neighborhoods. Young people existing in these societies are bounded by risk factors such as domestic and community violence, drugs, and teenage pregnancy, and often lack the kind of role models and community supports that could help them avoid such traps. In these communities, young people often lack access to people, knowledge, and resources that can help them achieve, and are left intensely isolated and severely at risk of failing to achieve their potential. These are the students LITMCO targets.
The Miami Dade County students also face traumatic educational trends. Studies demonstrate that not only have public school enrollment declined in this county in the previous decade but nearly a quarter of Miami Dade Public School students have limited English proficiency and more than one in 10 have special educational needs. This is evidenced by the high school dropout and retention rates for low-income high school students in many of the largest urban school districts which is now over 60%. Research shows that low-income, first generation, immigrant and/or minority families tend to be “uninformed and fearful” about the college and financial aid process, and typically overestimate the tuition costs and underestimate the availability of financial aid. As a result of these barriers and misconceptions more than of qualified low-income high school graduates did not attend college last year.
Yet census research illustrates that when low-income students do complete colleges, they disrupt the cycle of poverty for their whole family line, earn $1 million more over their lifetime, and send their own children to college at twice the rate of those without university degrees. Nevertheless, when this fails to happen time and time again, low expectations are reinforced and the cycle of poverty repeats.