Kenny Buchanan, 44, dropped out of school as a teenager. He lost his job when the economy collapsed. Claudio Sanchez/NPR hide caption

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A High School Dropout's Midlife Hardships

In ninth grade, Kenny Buchanan dropped out of school. Now, 26 years later, his life is driven by the search for a permanent job that can support his family.

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Danny Lamont Jones, 16, doesn't live at the Rose Street Youth Shelter anymore, but he spends a lot of his time there. Chris Hartlove hide caption

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Nick Dunn, 16, gave up on school shortly after he lost his father. He lives with his mother, Deborah Gilmore Dunn, in rural South Carolina. Claudio Sanchez/NPR hide caption

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Lauren Ortega, 20, has two young kids and is struggling to finish her GED. Claudio Sanchez/NPR hide caption

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Patrick Lundvick, 19, dropped out, spent time in jail and is now getting a second chance in South Chicago. Claudio Sanchez/NPR hide caption

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