Tuesday, October 16, 2012

American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen!

Take Stock in Children is proud to partner with WLRN, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Miami-Dade Public Schools to present the American Graduate series at middle schools throughout Dade County.  American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen” is a multi-year public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to help local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis.  Beginning in the 6th grade, they follow students through high school graduation, to battle high school dropout rates and promote the importance of graduation.
Throughout the month of October Take Stock in Children’s Director of Alumni Affairs, Helen Quinn, and AmeriCorps College Success Coaches, Allison Whitcomb and Nyame Fawohodie, have been attending the presentations at different middle schools, wherein Ms. Quinn has presented on “Creating a Healthy Environment,” using Take Stock in Children’s educational module on bullying.  Students are given pre and post surveys to gauge their knowledge about bullying before and after the presentations, and we have found that student’s knowledge jumps about 10% after the presentation, revealing the effectiveness of the program.
The presentations also feature City Year members who talk to students about college life, emphasizing the growth and opportunities that are to be had after high school graduation.  And finally, the American Graduate presentations have featured notable Music Executive, Nelson Santiago who has worked with artists like Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Wisin y Yandel.  Mr. Santiago has shown students that through dedication and by surrounding yourself with positive people, you can achieve success. 

American Graduate focuses on shifting our language from if a student graduates to when a student graduates; it is no longer an option for these students, it is a necessity, and through partnerships and collaborations from communities, we can work towards a better future for our young people.
Check out these videos, one from a Take Stock in Children student, Tahrell, and one from his mentor, Principal Vicari.  The videos illustrate the important roles that mentoring and Take Stock in Children have in getting students on the track towards graduation.

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