The Importance of a High School Diploma/GED for Young Adults Facing Homelessness.

In the journey towards stability and self-sufficiency, education stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path forward for young adults facing homelessness. Among the myriad of challenges they encounter, the attainment of a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) holds paramount significance. A high school diploma or GED serves as a gateway to further educational and career opportunities. It opens doors to post-secondary education, vocational training programs, and apprenticeships, expanding the realm of possibilities for homeless young adults. With access to higher education and specialized training, they can pursue careers that align with their passions and talents, ultimately breaking free from the cycle of homelessness.

For many homeless young adults, the absence of a high school diploma or GED closes doors to employment opportunities and perpetuates their cycle of instability. Lack of a high school diploma or GED is the top risk factor for youth and young adult homelessness. By obtaining a diploma or GED, they gain access to higher-paying jobs, paving the way for financial independence and stability. Leah, one of Project Kompass’ newest residents stated that she “felt behind in life because other people my age were still in high school and had better chances of going to a good college. I felt stuck and discouraged.”

Education empowers individuals, instilling them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to navigate life’s challenges. For homeless young adults, obtaining a high school diploma or GED is not just about academic achievement—it’s about reclaiming agency over their lives. It’s about proving to themselves and the world that they are capable of achieving greatness, regardless of their circumstances. “For me,” Leah said, “earning my GED meant I could move forward in life.”

Education lays the foundation for success in every aspect of life. It equips individuals with critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a thirst for lifelong learning. For homeless young adults, obtaining a high school diploma or GED is not just about academic achievement—it’s about building a solid foundation for future success, both personally and professionally. “Having a GED gives me confidence that I can achieve my goals, especially the ones that require a diploma.” With her GED in hand, Leah is preparing for her next academic adventure with MRC Next Gen, and is looking forward to beginning medical assisting classes in April.

At Project Kompass, we understand the transformative power of education, which is why we are committed to providing educational support and resources to homeless young adults. Through our collaborations with the Aldrich Family Foundation and Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Project Kompass has initiated a $2,500 scholarship aimed toward young adults who may not otherwise have a chance at furthering their education based on their financial status. The JumpStart Scholarship opens on April 1st, 2024, and closes on May 15th, 2024, and is open to any young adult, 18 years of age or older, who resides in Lowell, Lawrence, and the surrounding communities. Applicants must identify as either housing insecure, overcoming trauma, aging out of the foster care system, and/or lacking family support. The scholarship can be used towards vocational training, community college, or four-year college/university expenses, such as tuition, housing, books, and other fees.

As we reflect on the importance of a high school diploma or GED for homeless young adults, there’s an invitation for all to join us in this transformative journey. Support Project Kompass and organizations with similar missions. Advocate for policies that prioritize education and support services for homeless youth. Volunteer your time, skills, and resources to empower homeless young adults to achieve academic success and build brighter futures. In conclusion, education is not just a privilege—it’s a fundamental human right that has the power to change lives and break the cycle of homelessness. Through the attainment of a high school diploma or GED, homeless young adults gain access to opportunities, empowerment, and a brighter future. Together, let’s ensure that every individual has the opportunity to pursue their educational dreams and unlock their full potential, regardless of their circumstances