Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc. (CCS) that was established in the year 1992 is a non-profit agency (YouthBuild Rockford, n.d.). It focuses on the needs of youth especially those between the 16 and 24 years old and other permanent residents who left school (YouthBuild Rockford, n.d.). Although the agency was initially bent towards community-based services for people within the criminal justice system, it has now diversified towards providence of other human services. CCS has also come up with affordable housing projects while also training the youth on acquisition of construction skills. Moreover, CCS provides GED to the youth in Rockford especially, which turns out to be an effective strategy to teaching dropouts. This paper will hence delve into GED, the target group as well as an exploration of healthy diets in relation to education.
The target group in this case is young adults generally between the age of 20 and 28 years as well as adults in their mid 30s who go back to school to obtain their General Education Development (GED). This happens for a number of reasons and mostly because of the group lacking an opportunity to complete their studies. Some reasons that manifest are financial constraints, family related issues, learning disabilities or getting poor grades that inhibit them from getting to higher levels of education. As regards to financial constraints, some people may not have enough money to enable them partake a certain education path. For that reason, these people end up not pursuing education at earlier years thus prompting them to go back to school while older. Family constraints may also be a hindrance to a person pursuing education as they may be caught up with family issues that act as a drawback in their earlier pursuance of education. A person may also have scored wanting grade making them to discontinue with their studies only for them to go back to school later. Finally, a person may have learning disabilities that hinder them form attaining full education while younger and thus seeking to pursue education at later stages. Therefore, as for GED students, there are variant reasons that make them to seek education at a much delayed stage. Camera (2015) notes that there has been a huge drop in the number of high school dropouts over the years from about 1 million in 2008 to around 750,000 in 2012, indicating a 17% decline. However, there have still been disparities based on race in the years thus prompting the need to examine the figures. According to Child Trends (n.d.), in 2014, 11% of Hispanic youth, 7% of African Americans and 5% of whites failed to complete their high school education. This is a particularly special group to deal with, drawing insight from the constant challenges that face students as they go on with their high school education. Some have even resulted to never going back to class claiming that their chances to a good education have been ruined. This has been a common and worrying trend in the society for a long time and finding underlying reasons is essential. Health problems go ahead to manifest as one of the major issues leading to the trend. Some people in this group, during their time in high school lacked access to a well-balanced diet as well as adequate water thus triggering some health issues in their bodies.
This portion will focus on the effect of lacking a well-balanced diet on the academic achievement or even learning capability. For a long time, nutritionists have established a close link between good academic performance and intake of a balanced diet. Conversely, specialists have highlighted that foods with lots of sugars, sodium and caffeine have the ability of inhibiting a child’s ability to learn. Junk food in specific leaves the students feeling tired and sick sometimes. This not only has an effect on their education but also on their general behavior and attitude as a result. Chen (2016) indicates that foods with saturated fats have a high possibility of impairing both learning and students’ memory. Moreover, foods rich in glucose and especially from carbohydrates may lead to lower energy levels with reference to the insulin produced to digest the foods. However, there has been quite a challenge in preventing such trends amongst students in the society since junk foods are widely available and at relatively low prices. At times, they are even accessible within the schools or in outlets that are quite close to the schools. My project will primarily focus on educating the youth on the pending dangers when they do not take healthy foods and instead persist taking junk foods. The problem of obesity is one apparent effect of unhealthy foods and it is growing to be one of the major nutrition related problems amongst the youths (Brannon, Feist & Updegraff, 2013). My project would also advocate for the closure of junk food outlets on school premises and instead focus on the provision of healthy foods and at affordable prices to students. Nonetheless, one of the barriers that manifests in this case is being able to convince the school to close fast food outlets and replace the food with healthy foods. It would take strategic planning and much time before it finally comes to effect.
This paper has brought to light the target group for GED as well as the reasons that made them to drop out from high school in the first place. The focus on health reasons has led to the realization that lack of intake of a well balanced diet is a major contributing factor to the problem. In response, therefore, my project is to educate the students on the benefits of consuming healthy foods while at the same time advocating for the provision of healthy foods within the school as opposed to junk food. I look forward to leaving a legacy in the agency by making sure that by the end of the program; students’ perceptions on healthy foods will have changed thus displaying healthy living. In the same light, I will ensure that schools see the benefit of offering healthy foods to students and that junk food is prohibited on school premises.
- Brannon, L., Feist, J., & Updegraff, J. A. (2013). Health psychology: An introduction to behavior and health. Boston: Cengage Learning.
- Camera, L., (2015). Fewer Students Dropping Out of High School. USNews. Retrieved from <https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/11/10/high-school-dropout-rates- plummet>
- Chen, G., (2016). How Diet and Nutrition Impact a Child’s Learning Ability. Public School Review. Retrieved from <https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/how-diet-and-nutrition-impact-a-childs- learning-ability>
- Child Trends, (n.d.). High School Dropout Rates. Child Trends. Retrieved from <https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/high-school-dropout-rates/>
- YouthBuild Rockford, (n.d.). Comprehensive Community Solutions. YouthBuild Rockford. Retrieved from <http://comprehensivecommunitysolutions.org/>