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One Key to Success: A Belief in a Future

Almost half the students who enroll at Harper High School in Chicago drop out within five years, one of the highest rates in the city. The school is in a part of town where a dispute over a stolen bicycle or a Facebook fight between two girls over a boy might end up with a dead teenager.

Counselor Tim Jackson, in working with the Becoming a Man program, trains  boys in the program to avoid the ingrained, automatic responses: throwing a punch to avoid appearing like a punk or pulling a gun in a fistfight, which might land them in a bad place. And that requires providing these teenagers with an objective in life — a “visionary goal” — worth saving themselves for.