Graduating from high school ready for a career or college is a powerful predictor of future economic and health outcomes. We also know that academic success is undermined by issues related to hunger, homelessness, interpersonal violence, poor health conditions, and other social problems.
These factors, often referred to as the "social determinants of health" are also powerful determinants of education and therefore must acknowledge that the "opportunity gap" isn't just an indicator of a problem within our schools, it is an indicator of a host of obstacles within our community. And because so many of these issues are embedded in inequitable systems, addressing them requires an equity-centered systems-oriented approach.
At United Way, we envision a united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives. To achieve this vision, we mobilize and support a robust network of people, partners, and resources to co-create opportunities for every person in our community to live free from poverty and injustice. This is why we've chosen the United for Youth Network and Community Schools as the organizing framework for elevating student success, supporting families, and engaging communities throughout Buncombe County.