They either become resilient despite numerous setbacks or become disconnected with the educational system and remain stagnant or develop additional problems such as unemployment or addiction (Raywid, 2001). While many at-risk students are able to overcome such difficulties and become successful in adult years, those that are unable to do so not only lose their self-esteem and will to overcome obstacles, but they also fall into traps that prevent them from seeing their true capabilities. The cycle of perpetuating at-risk students continue if they become parents while still having the problems that have previously held them back from finishing school, and their children have higher chances of becoming like them in the future unless they are given an alternative form of education or intervention. How Students Become At-Risk Some factors are predetermined to be causes of risks for dropping out of high school among the youth. Most of these are but not limited to: having divorced parents or undergoing divorce; lack educational support at home; financial instability; lack ties to community, school, and peers; high rates of mobility; little or no extra-curricular activities; has a long history of being unsuccessful academically; being emotionally unstable; sufferers of physical, emotional or sexual abuse; have psychological and/or addiction problems; have no health care plans; juvenile law-offenders or gang-members; or have not finished the grieving process for the loss of important loved ones (McGee, 2001). The presence of one or a combination of any of these risk factors increases the stress levels of students, which makes them lose focus on studying and instead lets them dwell more on such problems. In addition, the lack of a proper support groups or guidance counselors would leave these youths unable to cope with the strains both in the home and in the self, which could prevent them from properly learning, and would ultimately lead them to self-pitying, hopelessness, and eventually dropping out from school or pursuing their chosen careers. Most students recognize the need to graduate in order to improve their lives, so it would be absurd to think that they chose to drop out for no sound reason (Pillow, 1997). They would even show signs to teachers or advisers that they want to finish school but they might not know how to do this effectively. These indicators would show up in behaviors such as showing up in class despite having low grades, submitting half-done homework, and taking or retaking exams despite previous scores. However, it they do not get enough support and encouragement from their teachers in being pushed forward to graduate, or if they feel that they do not receive any help, these students would feel discouraged and even think that it is not worth doing anymore since help is not available anyway. Unfortunately many teachers or counselors are unable to recognize indicators of at-risk students and immediately accept that these youths are uninterested and uninitiated to learn. It would immediately be assumed that the students quit school as an impulse, but this is not always the case. At-risk Students do not Decide Things Overnight Dropping out from school is not a choice that is decided on impulse. Rather, it is the steady accumulation of various problems that a student continually encounters every day, with the end result of not continuing schooling altogether. It is possible that during basic ...
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