Compare the Potential Power: Drop-Outs vs. Grads
Goal: To convincingly demonstrate to at-risk youth that they will be chronically, seriously handicapped if they drop out of school.
Materials: Marker board, markers, one large felt pen for each student, one copy for each student of the major Sunday newspaper in your area.
1. _ Inform the students that they will be learning about personal power. Distribute the newspapers to the students and ask the class members to use the markers to highlight the possessions, vehicles and homes they wish to have during their lives, then ask each student to briefly share their choices with the class.
2. _ Assist the students to discuss what resources they will likely need in order to ever be able to actually secure the items they desire. Aid the class members to conclude that they will need income in order to make their dreams a reality.
_ Assist the class to develop a list on the board of the income levels necessary to fund their desired purchases. (For example, help the students estimate the income needed to own a boat, car or home: To quickly make an approximate determination of the minimum yearly gross income level needed to buy a home, multiply the home price by 14% then divide by 28%). Group this information into a chart similar to that shown below:
3. _ Ask the students to look in the classified ad section of their newspaper and to determine what types of jobs will meet the minimum income level they will need to reach their dreams. Ask each student to circle all of the positions that they
would either would like to have, or will need to have to obtain the income level they may need.
_ List a sampling of jobs and their incomes on the board then assist the students to determine which of these jobs require a high school diploma, GED, college education or no education. List the education requirements next to each job.
4. _ Assist the students to determine that many/most jobs in your area require at least a high school diploma or GED. Aid the class to determine that the better paying jobs are most likely to have high education requirements. Ask the students to cross out all the jobs they had circled but would be unable to access if they fail to complete high school. Ask each student to also cross out all the circled possessions, vehicles and homes that they would be unable to access because they will not have the needed minimum income level. Ask the students to identify which jobs they can access without a diploma or GED, and to assess if they want that job and it's income and power.
_ Ask the students to compare who has more options, control, access and power throughout their life? drop-outs or grads.
5. _ Review the major points of this lesson:
To be able to have the possessions, vehicles and homes you want, you will need a job with a good income.
Many of the best-paying jobs require a lot of education.
You will be denied access to many jobs if you lack a GED or high school diploma.
Most of the jobs available to drop-outs are low-paying and will deter or prohibit you from obtaining many of the possessions, vehicles and homes you may want.
Grads have a much greater range of job options and often acquire far greater financial power and independence than drop-outs.