33 Baltimore City Students to Graduate from Youth Opportunity (YO) Baltimore Programs

Students previously disconnected from school and work earn diplomas and face a brighter future 

Youth Opportunity (YO) Baltimore will host a special graduation event for its 2017 class of 33 teens and young adults who chose to pursue alternative education after facing challenges in traditional school settings.

The stage will be shared by five students from the Westside YO Center, 19 students from the Eastside YO Center, and nine students from the YO Academy.

Tim Tooten, Education Reporter at WBALTV-11 will deliver the keynote address.

WHO: Thirty-three students, from the City’s two YO Centers and the YO Academy, will don cap and gown and proudly walk across the stage before an audience of parents, peers and supporters. This ambitious and dedicated group of teens and young adults has overcome challenges including unstable housing, limited support systems, early parenthood and limited educational achievements. Through the encouragement of caring professional advocates, the guidance of dedicated instructors, and access to vital support services, these young people are now moving forward to become fully independent and productive adults.

WHEN: Wed., June 21, 2017; 6 p.m.

WHERE:  University of Baltimore’s Student Center’s Wright Theater, 21 West Mt. Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201

BACKGROUND: Youth Opportunity (YO) Baltimore is operated by the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s Youth Services Division. Since 2000, YO has served more than 8,000 disconnected teens and young adults. The YO Academy is an alternative high school program operated in partnership by MOED and the Baltimore City Public School System. YO Academy serves students who are over-aged and under-credited. YO Centers provide academic support including GED and high school diploma tracks, career/job training, advocacy, mentoring and health and social support services to out-of-school or out-of-work city youth. Key YO partners include the Baltimore City Department of Juvenile Services, Baltimore City Public Schools, Civic Works, HEBCAC, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Adolescent Health, and Sinai Hospital. 


The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development 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.
In fiscal year 2016 MOED served more than 20,000 residents at our career center locations, connected more than 1,200 people with computer literacy training at our digital learning labs, assisted more than 1,000 businesses with developing and retaining their quality workforce, and placed more than 3,100 individuals in jobs at an average wage of nearly $12/hour. 

The YouthWorks summer jobs program offered 8,000 young people employment in 2016 at more than 900 worksite locations.


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