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Stark differences across North Carolina for young people 

The following is a press release from the Public School Forum of North Carolina

A new report released today by the Public School Forum of North Carolina’s Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) highlights large areas of North Carolina where young people are at risk of not succeeding. The report, 2016 Roadmap of Need, was released today at the Center for Afterschool Programs 13th annual Synergy Conference in Raleigh.

First published by the Public School Forum of North Carolina and NC CAP in 2010, the Roadmap of Need uses data on health, youth behavior and safety, education, and economic development to assess the relative well-being of young people living in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

According to the report, the five top counties where young people have the greatest likelihood for success are Union, Orange, Wake, Cabarrus and Camden. The bottom five where young people are most at risk are Vance, Northampton, Anson, Halifax and Robeson. The makeup of the top 5 is unchanged from last year, while Vance replaced Edgecombe in the bottom 5 this year.

“Our latest report shows that North Carolina continues to be a state where the opportunity for young people to succeed can look dramatically different depending on where you grow up,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “On one hand there are areas that are attracting jobs and industry and provide a quality educational experience both in and out of school. But there are still far too many areas in a state of economic decline, often with struggling schools and few out of school opportunities.”

At first glance, the Roadmap points to counties in eastern North Carolina as those most at risk. However, the nature of county-wide indicators often masks the variation occurring within counties, particularly our most populous urban counties where neighborhoods that alone would fare well on the Roadmap indicators exist in close proximity to neighborhoods with many young people in need.

Over the past three years, the Roadmap has been a key resource for afterschool providers and other education organizations in communicating with policymakers, funders, and citizens about the importance of their services, and to target areas for increased investment. School administrators, central office staff, nonprofits, community leaders, and parent advocates also use the Roadmap to

demonstrate to others the needs faced by their community. Public education advocates have brought Roadmap data to the attention of school board members, county commissioners, and members of the General Assembly in order to inform their efforts to create state and local policies that address significant community needs.

The Roadmap of Need was made possible by a generous grant from GSK.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at

About the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) 

As North Carolina’s only center dedicated to serving the afterschool and expanded learning community, the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) leads and supports a network of over 6,000 providers. NC CAP is a part of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. Our work impacts 160,000 K-12 students in the afterschool community throughout the state. We support the afterschool and expanded learning community by advocating and helping to shape policy, providing professional development opportunities, and bringing together state and national stakeholders. Follow us on Twitter @ncafterschool and visit our website at Synergy is the only statewide conference bringing together providers of out of school time programs, along with education and community stakeholders.

About the Public School Forum of North Carolina 

Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.