NEW YORK, May 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In April 2020, Our Turn conducted a survey of high school and college-aged students to understand how the pandemic is affecting their personal and educational outcomes. The COVID-19 Student Impact Report outlines the intersectionality of issues students are experiencing in the wake of COVID-19. More than 235 responses were recorded from high school and college-aged young people across 13 different states. 82% are people of color, and a majority identify as current or future first-generation college students. The report contains student recommendations in order to ensure equity for all young people.
Mental health, financial, food and housing insecurity, and educational equity needs were repeatedly identified throughout the responses captured from students. These sentiments are in direct relation to the recent academic changes, including disconnection from the physical school environment and implementation of e-learning vs. classroom instruction.
- 65 percent of students surveyed reported that their mental health has gotten worse, resulting in serious consequences.
"Quarantine affected my mental health so much that I had to drop out of college." - 20, Native American Non-binary Student, Illinois
- 37 percent of students surveyed reported that they are facing financial insecurity along with food and housing insecurity.
"I am the only person in my home to still have a job, so I have to pick up additional hours." Under 18, African-American Female High School Student, North Carolina
- 64 percent of students surveyed reported that they are concerned about missing major milestones (like prom, graduation, etc.).
"It's made me feel unmotivated to do my work without my major events to look forward to like prom or graduation." 18, Hispanic Female High School Student, New York
While remaining realistic about the challenges ahead, students are optimistic. They identified critical needs for themselves and communities, and remain hopeful that inequities in our society and in our educational system will be addressed.
"Though our nation will be deeply impacted by the pandemic, a lot of inequities and lack of preparedness will be brought to attention and I hope there's change for the better." - 20, Hispanic Female College Student, North Carolina
Our Turn's members and allies are re-imagining the education landscape as the future of education continues to evolve. In response to COVID-19, Our Turn is elevating student voices through national and local campaigns, and shaping demands to re-envision a new and equitable education system.
"The complex issues students have identified in this report illustrate the systemic barriers to education that have long been hindering the potential of America's young people," said Mohan Sivaloganathan, CEO. "We can't accept a status quo where the pandemic exacerbates racial and economic inequities, and students are left powerless to shape decisions. Only through the leadership of young people can we address and reconcile these critical challenges and rebuild our education system with an equity lens so students can have the opportunities they deserve to succeed."
ABOUT OUR TURN
Our Turn is a national nonprofit organization mobilizing, amplifying, and elevating the voices of students in the fight for education equity. Through our organizing campaigns, leadership development, and national voice, young people channel their power to spark a new movement for justice.
SOURCE Our Turn