Experts agree that truancy is the first sign of trouble-a gateway to crime-and that high school rates of truancy are linked to daytime burglary rates and vandalism and are a known risk factor for serious juvenile delinquency.
The progression from school failure to serious adult crime is well documented and terribly expensive. However, with early intervention, lives can literally be saved. Take a look at the following statistics:
AUNDREL KEITH - While many of the students served by TIP are successful, one recent story highlights the best of what we offer. Aundrel Keith became involved in the Truancy Intervention Project during the 2001-2002 school year with 50 unexcused absences and low academic performance.
While involved with the court, Aundrel had the support of his TIP volunteer David Forbes, former Fulton County Juvenile Court Educational Advocate, Kelly Farlander, Probation Officer, Harry Hudson, and Atlanta Public School Social Worker, Karell Winn, who all helped him as he embarked on his journey of success.
With the additional help, Aundrel got involved with the Transitional Program at Crim High School and participated in the first Georgia State Literacy Program over the summer to help him get back on track with his class work. The next school year he got involved in the Related Vocational Instruction Program at Therrell High School through which he was able to obtain a job with ARAMARK Aviation Services as a cabin cleaner. Since his involvement with the Project in 2002, Aundrel made enormous progress and graduated from Therrell High School in May 2005.
“Aundrel is a hard working, dedicated and delightful young man who has pointed himself in the right direction. He will be a source of pride to himself and his family and an asset to his community as he continues on his journey," states Karell Winn.
FAYDREN EDWARDS - When Faydren Edwards became involved in the Truancy Intervention Project, she was a teenager being raised by her single mother along with her younger sister and brother. Her mother, who is deaf, was caring for Faydren without the help of her father and as a result, was very hard on Faydren as the oldest child. Although she was always an exceptional and active student, Faydren's academics and school involvement began to suffer in her sophomore year and she found herself in a downward spiral.
In the year of Faydren's faltering school attendance and performance, she was referred to our program. The staff assigned a volunteer attorney, Denise de la Rue, to advocate for and mentor Faydren. Over time, Faydren came to highly respect and admire Denise and through this relationship, received much needed support, nurturing and encouragement. Denise advocated for Faydren in school and at home and made many efforts to show Faydren a world outside of that to which she was accustomed.
Due to the involvement of her volunteer, Faydren's performance not only improved at school and at home, but shewas also selected to receive TIP's highest honor, the Hank Aaron Award for the Most Outstanding TIP Student. In addition, Faydren was able to return to school, pull her grades back up to a B+ average and achieve the highest score on the SAT in her class. Today, Faydren is a teacher, having obtained a Bachelor's degree from Georgia State University, and continues to work with TIP as a member of the Board of Directors.