Arizona Organizations Work To Reduce The Number Of Disconnected Youth In The Valley

Published: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 2:33pm
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The Phoenix area has one of the highest rates of so-called disconnected youth in the country. Those are 16 to 24-year-olds who are neither working nor in school.

The project Measure of America has been looking at this population and said in a report that, as of 2010, there were nearly 6 million disconnected youths, about one in seven Americans between those ages.

The report also said 17.3 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds in the Phoenix area are disconnected. Only three of the largest metro areas in the country had higher rates. That has led to efforts in the Valley to try to bring that number down.

One of the people behind it is Don Covey, Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools.

It’s not just governments and nonprofits working to address this issue, the arts are also taking a crack at it. This weekend, Rising Youth Theater will perform the world premiere of the play “Disengaged,” by Tucson playwright Milta Ortiz.

To talk more about the show, I’m joined by Xanthia Walker, one of the co-founders of Rising Youth Theater, and high school student Alyssa Baeza, who’s working on the play as Assistant Stage Manager.

Rising Youth Theater will be performing “Disengaged” this weekend at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.