Academic Competition Meets Dropouts


Academic Competition Meets Dropouts


For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:

May 20, 2004

Diana Spencer, Public Information Officer 

Baltimore, MD - The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s Youth Opportunity (YO!) initiative will host its first-ever academic tournament on Friday, May 21, 2004, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Life Sciences Building on the Liberty Campus of Baltimore City Community College. Through YO!, high school dropouts and youth at risk of dropping out are engaged in education, work-readiness and personal development activities. In this tournament, almost 80 YO! members will compete for honors in mathematics, geography, public speaking, spelling, social and dining etiquette, resume writing, job interview skills, computer literacy, photography, visual arts, music (composition and performance), creative writing and an open arts category. The top six academic winners of this local competition will represent Baltimore at this summer’s U.S. Department of Labor National Skills Competition in Washington, D.C.

“Our youth love to compete in basketball tournaments, and we’re hoping that same spirit of friendly competition will come through in academics,” said MOED Director Karen Sitnick. “We know academic achievement is closely tied to earning potential, so we are working hard to instill a love of learning in our youth program participants.”

An initiative of the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board Youth Council, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and multiple workforce partners, YO! Baltimore increases the long-term employability of Empowerment Zone youth, ages 14 to 21. Since Youth Opportunity Baltimore began in the fall of 2000, more than 3,750 youth have become members. Of those, 535 members have earned high school diplomas and 121 have earned GEDs, and 2,364 members have been placed in unsubsidized employment opportunities, military, apprenticeships, Job Corps, college or occupational skills training programs including 197 members enrolled in college.

To learn more about this exciting academic competition or about the Baltimore Youth Opportunity Movement, call 410-396-6722 or visit

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