American Graduate: CPB

Promoting Leadership in Students

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Learn about how empowerment organizations like Banister Leadership Academy are helping African-American young men in this clip from American Graduate Day 2014. The Banister Leadership Academy in Omaha, Nebraska helps African-American young men in their community. Before Byron started the leadership program, he was just getting by in school and was using drugs. But mentors at Banister Leadership Academy helped him set high expectations for himself. Now, Byron is excited to continue his education and motivated to give back to his community.

Community Partnerships Helping Students in School

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Learn how Harrison High School in Evansville, IN is using community partnerships to support students in this video from American Graduate Day 2013. Reconnecting Youth is a nonprofit organization that helps bring social workers into schools. High school students often need help balancing school, work and their social lives. Social workers help students improve their time management and communication skills. When students feel more connected to school, they begin to see how they fit in and how they can contribute to their communities. Use the resources in the Support Materials section below to help students improve their communication skills.

Supporting Students and Giving Them Second Chances

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Learn how mentors from GearUp helped a student in trouble turn his life around in this clip from American Graduate Day 2014. Hector grew up in a tough neighborhood, and was frequently in trouble himself until he started working with Emily Johnson, a mentor from GearUp. But despite having the support of a mentor and his coaches, Hector still did not believe in himself, and was arrested in high school. Hector had a transformative experience at Anytown camp and resolved to put more effort into school and achieving his goals. He now acts as an ambassador for GearUp and works to inspire young people.

Mentors Helping First-Generation College Students

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Learn how tnAchieves helps first generation college students as they prepare for college through mentoring, scholarship opportunities, and advising in this video from American Graduate Day 2013. The steps required to prepare for, apply to, and finance a college education are challenging for all students, but they can be especially daunting when you are the first person in your family to pursue higher education. tnAchieve helps students with challenging tasks, such as completing the FAFSA application, and connects the students with mentors. Use the FAFSA Guide handout in the Support Materials section to help students apply for financial aid.

Learners Facing Challenges

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This collection highlights videos produced by Producers Workshop filmmakers for CPB's American Graduate initiative. These close-up stories focus on the challenges facing high school students across America - Native American, Latino, Asian American, more. How can they and their communities break through the obstacles so the students can succeed and graduate?