As COVID-19 continues to alter our daily operations across the country and around the world, Award USA has worked to expand our virtual framework. We continue to train volunteers and mentors and strive to provide the opportunity for any young person seeking access to Award USA to participate.
CEO Elizabeth Higgins-Beard recently sent out this open letter to our Award community, detailing the landscape and what we see ahead:
An open letter from Award USA
It has been six months since life around us began to change. With the arrival of COVID-19, we have seen many plans and programs halted. As a new school year begins, we must work together to support our young people.
We are ready.
Education and youth programs will continue to be altered this year.
- 1.2 billion children in 186 countries are reported by the World Economic Forum to be out of school and impacted by COVID.
- Of the 16.7 million US students enrolled in public or private high schools, more than 86% expect again to be in a fully remote or hybrid learning model with reduced in-person learning this fall.
- A recent CDC study reported that young people ages 18 to 24 share the highest levels of anxiety and depression of all adults surveyed, with 1 in 4 reporting thoughts of suicide.
- The recent re-openings of colleges and universities have shown mixed results, with many forced to move to a fully remote format due to outbreaks just after welcoming students back.Â
A large-scale experiment is underway in university and school district classrooms as they attempt to utilize fully virtual and other mixed models of instruction. Young people are reporting feeling isolated, disconnected, and anxious.Â
Award USA’s framework continues to guide participants forward.Â