Why Boomerang?

In Orange County, 1 in 20 youth are disconnected from the typical pathways of education, college and career.

This number does not capture the number of youth at risk for disconnection:

  • Students suspended from school
  • Youth in the juvenile justice system
  • Young people with limited means and access to opportunities to help them prepare for the future

Students who are suspended from school are up to ten times as likely as other students to drop out of school or repeat a grade.

  • Black and Latino youth tend to have higher-than-average rates of disconnection, and are disproportionately represented in out-of school suspensions. This disproportionality is reflected in the youth we serve at Boomerang annually: 65% Black, 25% Latino.
  • Over 30% of young people who come to Boomerang are court-involved.
  • Over 55% of families we serve are below the poverty threshold.

Disconnection is not inevitable. At Boomerang, we know that investing in youth changes their trajectory towards positive change.

Boomerang programs are designed for young people to examine their actions, identify their strengths, connect decisions with consequences, learn new ways of dealing with challenges, and discover new possibilities.

Positive change begins when young people have opportunities to achieve personal goals, experience hope, and connect with others during points of disruption in their lives.

  • We work with middle and high school students from Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Orange County schools.
  • We focus on building skills in managing conflict, improving communication, engaging in healthy relationships, setting reachable goals and other decision making skills that help them reengage.
  • We facilitate conversations between the student, their family and school, during which they share key takeaways and collaborate to make a plan for the future.
  • We measure each young person’s progress against the following criteria: connection to a caring adult, making positive choices, commitment to graduating, and a plan for the future.