An October 2009 report from PACE (Philanthropy for Civic Engagement) entitled An Inequitable Invitation to Citizenship: Non-College-Bound Youth and Civic Engagement shows that "Increases in voting, volunteering, and other forms of civic engagement are driven disproportionately by young people from higher-income families and communities, as well as youth who are college bound or already enrolled in secondary institutions. In contrast, low-income and non-college-bound youth are lagging far behind in their levels of civic participation—a gap that threatens the health of a democracy that depends on the full participation of
everyone, not just some." The report examines factors that influence civic participation among non-college bound youth and highlights strategies to expand civic participation for all.
Schools are encouraged to, “Form stronger connections with service-providing community organizations, especially in neighborhoods with more NCBY (non-college bound youth), to create more diverse and enriching ‘real world’ experiences through which NCBY can practice civic skills that address issues affecting their lives. These connections to civic organizations could also serve as important resources for NCBY— including information, jobs, contacts, networks—as they transition from students to adults who may then be more inclined to participate in these kinds of community institutions later in life.”
Read the full report here: http://www.pacefunders.org/publications/NCBY.pdf