Drop Out Prevention

Half of the adults in my family are teachers, or were teachers, in public education in Georgia. Half. And almost every one of those educators in my family have at least a Master’s degree, too. It’s safe to say that is a significant percentage and one can easily assume that education is important to my family.

My brother is a high school drop out. It still surprises me. He had the same family history that I had and didn’t make it through high school. Let me interject that he had a very different childhood experience from most kids and I honestly think he made the right call. But, he had a very supportive mother (a Master’s degree-toting educator for 20+ years) and was able to go straight into a GED program, then the Navy, then on to higher education. It was hard, so hard, on every member of my family. I remember taking my sobbing sister to the high school counselor’s office because she was so distraught.

On November 17 from 8am-3pm, GPB is partnering with United Way of Metro Atlanta, WCLK Jazz 91.9, and the Southern Education Desk as part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a public media initiative made possible by support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Stop the Drop GA is a statewide campaign aimed at preventing high school drop outs. We’ll hear from experts, including panel discussions with parents, educators, and students. Then, we’ll work it out. We’ll separate into smaller breakout sessions and really talk about our communities and share our common challenges and the ways we’ve each seen change effected in our areas to keep every child in school. We’ll share our resources and make a difference for Georgia and her students.

GPB created a webpage, www.gpb.org/education/stop-the-drop, where you can watch a live stream and participate in a chat from 8:30am-12:30pm. If you can’t be with us at the event, please join us online and come back to the site for news, resources, and to watch the archived stream and share it with fellow educators and community members.

I often wonder how different my brother’s life would have been if he could have stayed in school. I know that he lives a very happy life now because no matter what, he kept pursuing his education. He’s gotten two degrees since he left the Navy and he got them both while married and working a full-time job. He is the exception, though.

It is our sincere belief that if we are all working together and sharing our concern and resources, we can make a significant, positive impact on Georgia’s students.