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CHILD FIRST USA is organized to support the national effort to improve high school and college persistence and graduation rates. it is well documented that these rates have slowed dramatically for males, particularly African Americans and Latinos. The national effort to reverse these trends continues to be inhibitied by:

  • Drop out rates for Latinos are 27.5% (1.86 mil) & for Blacks are 21% (1.16 mil)

  • States like Georgia and Florida that have extremely high and apparently irreversible dropout rates (e.g., a black male who enters the ninth grade in Georgia has slightly more than a 1 in 3 chance of earning his high school diploma.

  • A national economy that appears to be stuck in a recession that reduces opportunities for employment and increases the likelihood that school dropouts, particularly Black and Latino males, become apprentices for prison.

  • School systems that must try to operate successfully under increasing pressure to demonstrate effectiveness by meeting standards for teaching and learning, improving attendance, and producing graduates, while failing to meet the needs of many children due to the lack of innovation, inadequate funding and significant and regular budget cuts.

  • Studies, articles, and presentations that inundate the media, the web, and social networks that describe the problems for children and education but fall short in delivering the collaborative change-oriented and tested solutions that work to the places where the children and the problems described are more likely to be found.

  • Urban street corners filled with men, including many school-aged young men who are the products of failed schools, where economic conditions and disproportionate incarceration foster widespread unemployment, and a prison industrial system that must fill empty beds.




The generous support of individual donors, like you, can help make the difference in the future of on of our students.  Visit our donate page to make your tax-deductable donation today.

Our Vision

It is the vision of CHILD FIRST to be the leading action-oriented and collaborative organization for child advocacy in education in order that every child in our nation graduates from high school with the necessary preparation to compete on a global level and with viable postsecondary options to enroll in college, to join the military, or to work in industry.

Our Mission

It is the mission of CHILD FIRST to dramatically improve the K12 pipeline by helping more children, particularly males, attain their high school diploma. Through efforts that focus on African American and Latino males, CHILD FIRST will collaborate with teachers and school personnel, parents, peer groups, and community-based support programs to help to reclaim recent K12 dropouts, prevent potential dropouts, and thereby increase persistence to high school graduation for more children. CHILD FIRST will serve as a national clearinghouse for information related to educational attainment for targeted student groups and for organizing the schools, programs, and activities through the nation that are delivering the best educational outcomes for these students or that are demonstrating greatest promise to do so.


We believe that the approach to preventing dropouts and reclaiming those who have made the dropout decision must be multifaceted. The work with young boys and adolescents must touch the young person's entire influence network, including the family and extended family, school, peers, neighborhood, and other collateral influencers. The model deploys trained professionals operating using a caseworker model to provide support to the influcence network in order to effect changed behavior and changed attitudes toward school and education. Additional support includes in-school and after school programming, weekend institutes, and summer residential character building and academic support opportunities.

CHILD FIRST will replicate in its programs and activities best practices in innovative programs and activities that create and/or support educational environments that have attained outcomes consistent with the CHILD FIRST vision and mission. 


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