New Study Finds 100K ‘Idle Youth’ In Dallas

Idle Youth. No, it’s not the name of a new band; it’s the harsh reality our nation faces. According to a new study, six million young adults between 16 and 24 are not working, nor are they in school. That’s double the number reported by the US Census Bureau back in 2006.

idle youth 1In the afternoon shuffle, in the middle of the hectic downtown crowd, Darian Hammonds waited. He waited, not just for his DART train, but to find his direction in life.

“Working minimum wage is like having no job,” Hammonds said. “All your money is gone anyways.”

22-year old Hammonds, like so many others his age, finds himself at a crossroads in life.

“All my friends my age are going through the same thing. I mean, some get luckier because they find better jobs, but the ones that don’t, they just like me.”

According to a recent study by Opportunity Nation, in Dallas alone, more than 100-thousand young adults, between the ages of 16 and 24, neither have a job nor are they enrolled in school.

“Well, school, it’s the time of the year, can’t get no school right now,” Hammonds explained. “And working, mmm, jobs ain’t given out every day.”

The reality of Hammonds’ situation is an alarming discovery for sociologists like Dr. Sheryl Skaggs.

“We know from research, about geographic isolation of communities, sub-groups within communities, that are very isolated in terms of their ability to develop networks that are important for jobs and also understanding the importance of an education,” Dr. Skaggs said. Skaggs heads the Department of Public Affairs and Sociology at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Dr. Skaggs said community involvement and interest in our youth is imperative in their future success.

idle youth 2“Working adults have a responsibility to be good mentors to these young individuals,” Skaggs said. “Whether we’re doing that when they’re 16, or when they’re 24, we still have that responsibility to help cultivate that because that has very negative consequences for the overall economy for the future.”

As for Hammonds, he’s determined not to allow his current situation dictate his future path.

“I want to be able to travel and see different places,” he said with a hopeful tone.

So, he’s working to get on the right track.

“Each day gets better, not matter what – you have to do something. I mean, you can’t go down, you can always go up.”


1 Comment to “New Study Finds 100K ‘Idle Youth’ In Dallas”

    Tom Young said:
    October 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Hello, Thank you for sharing this story and these facts.

    I would like to meet Darian maybe for coffee and share some life experiences. Also where can I get one of those T-SHIRTS!

    Tom E Young Insurance

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