A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

The E.A.R.N. Way

A Hand Up

Each year, approximately 18,000 teens and young adults drop out of Arizona’s high schools. Most will become life challenged individuals due to their lack of a High School credential.

The Hand Up program provides an easily accessible online opportunity for life challenged teens and young adults to earn a high GED or high school diploma.   

The Problem We Are Working to Solve

The crisis that we are working to mitigate is Arizona’s massive high school dropout rate. Each year, approximately 18,000 students drop out. Compared to high school graduates, these dropouts are less likely to find a job or earn a living wage and they are more likely to have poor health, require public assistance and engage in criminal behavior. Over their lifetime, each year’s group of high school dropouts will cost the state $7.6 billion, a financial burden that is clearly unsustainable.

Additional measures of this mushrooming crisis include: 90% of Arizona children whose parents lack a high school degree live in low income families; 46% of the 16,000 children currently in the state’s foster care system will “age out” without a high school diploma; 75% of Arizona’s prison population are high school dropouts.

The E.A.R.N. Solution

The E.A.R.N. Hand Up program provides a pro-active solution. The program includes a preliminary assessment that determines the customized training and tutoring services each life challenged teen or young adult requires. It then provides academic counseling and vital financial support that may include a computer, internet access and child care and transportation during GED testing.

While the life challenges or circumstances of each Hand Up recipient may vary, all students are eligible to receive the following services as part of their award package:

  • E.A.R.N. Assessment:
    • A mentor review and academic assessment places students on an optimal path for success. This determines the needs and placement into the “cocoon” of personalized services that will ensure successful attain of a high school credential for each individual student prior to Aging Out of Foster Care.
  • Education Cocooning:
  • Education Program Cocooning removes the historic obstacles faced by at-risk students in pursuit of their education goals. Mentorship and integrated support services are individualized to meet the accelerated completion needs of each student.
  • MyPlan Remediation:
  • E.A.R.N. programs offer enhanced teacher engagement, remediation, and on-demand tutoring to rapidly evolve their core academic skills. Most foster youth that are low performing at age 15 and up, critically need this foundational remediation program for both traditional or an approved alternative high school completion pathway.
  • Additional Components:
  • Components to this program include mentor and teacher assignment, 24/7 access to academic courses, resource centers, unlimited in-course tutoring, enhanced teacher engagement and proctored program testing arrangement. However, we also provide, when necessary, transportation, computer equipment, internet access, transition assistance, and life-skills counseling.

What We Provide

The Hand Up program is providing opportunities for teens, young adults and communities to end the cycle of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and reliance on government aid for survival.  

  • Skills Assessment Test
  • Placement & Learning Plan
  • GED Preparation Program
  • Computer Equipment
  • Internet Access
  • GED Test 
  • Child Care Assistance during program (if applicable)
  • Local Transportation to campus or testing site (if applicable)

How You Can Help

The full scholarship for an E.A.R.N. recipient is between $2000-$4000* per award.    Amount will vary based on need and route to completion selected-either 1 year high school diploma or GED option.

While no amount is too small, there are several options to choose from to fund our E.A.R.N. recipients including 1X donations, ongoing monthly support, micro-campaigns or in-kind support sponsorship.  

We are committed to being good stewards of the funds we receive and ensuring our goal to impact as many life-challenged students as we can.  We thank you in advance as you help us build a stronger community-one life-challenged student at a time.

Please note: E.A.R.N. uses PayPal to process donations. You do not need to have a PayPal account to continue.

  • Please Check Your E.A.R.N. Donor Card for your Team Number. Thank You!