- Posted March 2, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
iReport for CNN
Dropout Nation - The Solutions
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
Meet Jorge Luis, age 18. He just got a part-time job at Starbucks to help his single mom provide for his two little sisters. If he quits high school now, he thinks he can work fulltime and get benefits. He thinks he can always go back to school and get his GED if he needs it. He’s only three months from graduating.
Meet Mark Williams, age 17. He’s bored with school. He gets good grades without even studying. His parents both work two jobs and don’t have much time to spend with him. He’s starting to experiment with drugs. He wants to quit school.
Why do one third of our kids become high school casualties? What makes them trade in a variety of courses and a social life for a job making latte’s for $6.50 an hour? What will happen to them in a year? Where will they be in 12 months or 12 years as they raise families and battle for decent jobs? How does this staggering drop out rate impact our society? Is this really a silent epidemic? Why has nothing changed in 40 years?
We have conducted interviews with high school dropouts, GED program managers, teachers, and parents, and have scheduled additional interviews. Existing partnerships include: Bellevue Community College, Sammamish Montessori School, ETC Prep Academy, and Washington State’s Community Center for Alternative Programs, as well as school counselors, juvenile detention centers, and the City of Seattle’s Prosecutor's Office.