Improving educational outcomes for vulnerable youth in DC begins with something basic: keeping the kids in school and out of the juvenile justice system. And that means addressing the things that cause them to drop out in the first place: chronic truancy, suspension, and first-time arrest. Access Youth tackles all of this. At Ballou, Anacostia, and Eastern High Schools, two program managers per school build trusting relationships with students, enrolling them in ninth grade and continuing for four years. A truancy prevention program provides encouragement, motivation, and support for attending school, while a restorative justice program works on relationship building, goal setting, progress monitoring, and life skills development. Rooted in conflict resolution and mediation, not punishment, these programs will serve 700 students next year, decreasing behavior issues, boosting attendance, increasing school engagement, and improving school performance. Donít we owe this to our kids?

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: DC Public Schools; Ballou High School; Anacostia High School; Eastern High School; Washington Metropolitan High School

  • Number of youth served since our founding in 2009:   1800
  • Percent of students who avoided suspension post referral in 2015:   85%
  • Percent of youth who avoid re-arrest post referral:   75%
  • Percent of students who avoided court referral for truancy in 2015:   70%

Awards & Recognition

In 2016 Access Youth was awarded the highly competitive Deputy Mayor for Education's Dropout Prevention Grant that provided one time funds of $170,000 to address high school Truancy.


Budget (FY2013)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Access Youth is: Less than $500k

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