A new study says North Dakota has the third-lowest percentage of children in poverty out of all 50 states.
Mark Heinert, the Program Manager at Youthworks, says this could be due to our state’s low unemployment rate and more affordable higher education options.
He calls poverty a systemic issue, that often stems from behavior issues. It also adversely affects the Native American population in North Dakota more than any other portion of the population.
But Heinert says, having any percentage of children living in poverty means it’s still an issue.
He explains, “We should celebrate the fact that we have a low amount of people living in poverty. And then on the other hand, you can say, well there’s 18,000 individuals that are in poverty, and I would say one is too many. It is something we would want to try to address more. We do know that some of the keys to addressing poverty is through education, it’s through employment, through supports.”
Youthworks has an afterschool program for local students, dedicated to curbing poverty through education.
The organization is at risk of not being able to continue this mentoring service due to a lack of funding. To help Youthworks, help North Dakota students graduate, you can donate on their website listed below: