QCH Learning To Work Students Rally at City Hall

Queens Community House co-operates five high schools with the Dept. of Education under their Learning To Work (LTW) program. Through LTW, young adults who have struggled in the traditional high school setting get a second chance at earning a diploma, while getting the support they need to succeed: academics, emotional well-being, counseling, and career guidance. LTW even offers paid internships, letting students earn a paycheck and explore potential careers while going to school.

Each year, LTW helps prevent a drop-out crisis in NYC by helping thousands of young adults to graduate. This incredibly successful program, however, is in jeopardy. This June, the DOE is considering cutting up to 72% of LTW funding. This threatens the futures of 16,000 promising young adults across 66 Transfer High Schools and 19 Young Adult Borough Centers (YABCs).

With this vital program at risk, on March 21, over 300 students – current and former LTW participants – rallied at NYC City Hall with the message #SaveLTW. During the rally, many of our students spoke powerfully about how LTW has helped them overcome challenges and build successful futures.

"The incredible turnout of students at this rally is a testament to why LTW is so important to our youth," said Ivonne Torres, QCH Associate Executive Director for Young Adult Services. "Traditional high schools don't work for many young people. LTWs have allowed us to re-engage with these students, give them the support to graduate, and help them devise clear post-secondary plans. This is the time to double down on securing the future of our youth, rather than disinvesting in it."

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