91 Baltimore City Students to Graduate from Youth Opportunity (YO!) Baltimore Programs June 12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2013 FOR ASSIGNMENT: Wednesday, June 12, 2013; 6 p.m.

Contacts: Brice Freeman, Communications, 410-396-1910, [email protected] Ernest Dorsey, Youth Services, 410-396-6722, [email protected]

91 Baltimore City Students to Graduate from Youth Opportunity (YO!) Baltimore Programs June 12 Mayor Rawlings-Blake and City Councilman Scott to give remarks at graduation ceremony to be held at Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland (June 6, 2013) – Youth Opportunity (YO!) Baltimore will host a special graduation event for its 2013 class of young adults who chose to pursue alternative education after facing challenges in traditional settings. Fifty-seven students will graduate from the YO! Academy, an alternative high school that operates in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools. They will share the stage with 34 young people who dropped out of school and earned their general Maryland high school diplomas through the city’s two YO! Baltimore centers. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will speak during the ceremony, and Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, an alumnus of YO! Baltimore, will deliver the keynote address. WHO: YO! Baltimore serves out-of-school Baltimore City 16-22-year-olds, many of whom face difficult challenges such as unstable housing, unemployment, limited support systems, early parenthood, poverty, and limited educational achievements. Through the encouragement of caring and professional advocates, the guidance of dedicated literacy instructors and access to vital support services, these young people are now moving forward to become fully independent and productive young adults. WHEN: Wed., June 12, 2013; 6 p.m. WHERE: Johns Hopkins University Shriver Hall, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. BACKGROUND: Since 2000, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development has operated YO! Baltimore (yobaltimore.org) to address the many needs of youth and young adults disconnected from traditional learning environments. Over the past 13 years, YO! Baltimore has provided academic, career/job training, advocacy, mentoring, health and social support services to thousands of out-of-school, out-of-work city youth. ### In fiscal year 2012, the Mayor's Office of Employment Development hosted more than 145,000 visits from city residents at our one-stop career centers, provided computer literacy to more than 2,500 people at our Digital Learning Labs, and placed nearly 2,500 individuals in jobs. We connected more than 5,300 young people to summer employment and assisted more than 450 businesses through our Employ Baltimore strategy. MOED is committed to building a strong workforce for our city by developing meaningful partnerships with the local business community and connecting Baltimore citizens of all ages and backgrounds with jobs and pathways to careers. 

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