Group Aims To Improve Alarming Dropout Rate In Indy

I Care Hopes To Pair Struggling Students With Services

A group that claims Marion County has the second-highest high school dropout rate in the country is behind a new plan to turn that around.

The Marion County Commission on Youth held a launch party Thursday night for the I Care Campaign.

The group's goal is to increase graduation rates and involves local businesses in the effort to get more children to finish school, along with providing mentors to help students, 6News' Ericka Flye reported.

"We want to look at what already exists. It's not about starting anything more, but it's helping the programs and services that we have available be more connected to each other and be more connected to the young people who need them," said John Brandon, of the commission.

I Care said about 73 percent of senior students in Marion County graduated high school last year, but they believe pairing students with the right people and programs will help.

"It's real important, because if you have that adult in your life that gives you that can do attitude, the student will think, 'Yeah, I can do it,'" said Fred Hopkins, a student at Arsenal Tech High School "I've never thought about dropping out, because high school is one step closer to my dreams."

Experts said high dropout rates correlate to issues in society, such as crime, poverty and health care.