Robin Kelly

Nearly 90,000 Cook County teens, young adults not in school or working, report says

Nearly 90,000 Cook County teens, young adults not in school or working, report says

Lilia Gomez, 19, knows what it's like to be out of school and out of work.

Amid a storm of events in her life — the incarceration of her mother, a baby at 16 and time spent living in a shelter — Gomez dropped out of high school. She took the time off to care for her son, but she also knew she needed a longer-term plan.

"In that moment I felt like, what am I going to do with my life?" said Gomez, who lives in South Chicago. "I just felt really lost."

Gomez has since restarted school at Youth Connection Leadership Academy, a charter school on the city's South Side, and is set to graduate soon with her high school diploma. It's taken a lot of hard...

65°