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                        Brochure
     
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    DEF is a proud member of

      

    Why DEF Is Needed

    Almost 21% of the children in the 3-county region we serve live in families with income below the poverty level. This is more than double the statewide average of 10.4% of children (U.S. Census 2000, National Association of Counties 2000). (See Figure 1.) Low income students tend to lack the family support, guidance, and resources to successfully pursue opportunities in higher education or advanced career training.  

    Indeed, in the same three counties, educational attainment levels are also markedly lower than the state average. While for Maryland as a whole the percentage of people 25 years and over who have completed a bachelor’s degree was 31.4 in 2000 (U.S. Census), the figures in the region we serve range from a low of 11.6% in Somerset County to a “high” of 21.9% in Wicomico, which is still nearly 10% below the state average (Nat’l Assoc. of Counties 2000). (See Figure 2.)

    DEF is working to close these gaps that impact quality of life and workforce development, so more students in this region pursue higher education, whether it be college or specialized career training, thus boosting their earning ability. 

    Figure 1

     INCOME LEVELS
     
    Percentage of children in poverty – 2008
    MARYLAND
    10.4
    Somerset
    27.9
    Wicomico
    17.1
    Worcester
    17.7
    3-county average
    20.9% of children live in families with income below the poverty level.
     
    Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation
     
     
    Figure 2
    EDUCATION LEVELS
     
    Percentage of people 25 years and over who have completed a bachelor’s degree
    MARYLAND
    31.4
    Somerset
    11.6
    Wicomico
    21.9
    Worcester
    21.6
    3-county average:
    18.4
     
    Source: U.S. Census 2000 /
    National Association of Counties 2000