Entering the real world is difficult for many young adults, but for some, that transition often leaves them stuck in limbo.

The term “opportunity youth” is now being used to describe the growing number of 16- to 24-year-olds who don’t attend school or have a job.

A few institutions in the region have started noticing the problem, and new programs serving the population are in the works. San Diego Continuing Education, a school that provides adults with job and education alternatives, is one of the organizations testing out solutions.

On this week’s podcast, cohosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn sit down with Carlos Cortez, president of San Diego Continuing Education, to talk about how the school is helping guide students who struggle with the transition into the so-called real world.

“Many [students] have so many gaps in their educational development that it really requires simultaneously providing foundational skills and support, while also providing them with the job training that’s going to help them to land a job that pays a livable wage,” Cortez said.

Number of the Week

9.6 percent: The percent of 16- to 24-year-olds in San Diego County who are considered opportunity youth. That’s almost one in 10 of the 43,000 students in the county.


We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

What’s Working

The International Rescue Committee: An organization that helps refugees settle in cities across the country, but also makes sure young adults have the tools to succeed in American schools.

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    This article relates to: Education, Good Schools For All

    Written by Adriana Heldiz

    Adriana Heldiz is Voice of San Diego’s Assistant Digital Manager. She makes videos and helps manage the organization’s online presence. Adriana can be reached at adriana.heldiz@voiceofsandiego.org.

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