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New Study Paints Bleak Portrait Of Langley Park Youth

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A recent study paints a bleak picture for the children of Langley Park, a poverty-stricken Prince George's County community.

A majority of the children who live in Langley Park are at risk of not completing their high school education. That is the conclusion of the study, recently released by the advocacy group CASA de Maryland and the Urban Institute. The reasons only 45 percent of Langley Park children get their high school diplomas are numerous, including poverty, the pressures of dropping out to get a job, recruitment by gangs as well as teen pregnancy.

In a way, the children here reflect the reality of many of the adults in Langley Park: More than half of them have failed to reach ninth grade, a significant portion are either undocumented or first-generation Central American immigrants, a status that poses many challenges, like no health coverage, substandard housing and no steady employment. Those who are employed are usually toiling at the lowest ends of the wage scale.

The report will be used as a guideline to help the nearly 20,000 residents of Langley Park overcome some of these challenges. Community groups and the Prince George's County school system will collaborate in this effort. CASA de Maryland plans to establish a parenting program as part of the push.

A few months ago, Prince George's County established a community service center in the heart of Langley Park where residents can access many county services.

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