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Students lead conversations on increasing grad rates at GradNation Summit

April 05, 2016

Students from 12 high schools in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties led the discussion on challenges and solutions for raising high school graduation rates at GradNation last Wednesday.

Community officials, business leaders, educators, and parents joined students to examine local data, identify challenges, and offer solutions to prepare our students for success on their path to graduation and after graduation day. Superintendent Jeff Eakins shared, "I am so proud that we have students who are stepping up and showing such great leadership and driving solutions at their schools."

Student leaders presented on programs and initiatives unique to their schools and how they are helping students succeed. The sessions included Peer to Success: Supporting Students in School & Beyond, Creating a College-Going Culture, Graduation Planning “By the Students, for the Students”, and Students as Part of the Solution. Jubilee Vega, one of the presenters and senior at Jefferson High School explained, "...this is not just about me, it's about students and what we as peers can bring back to other students to help them be successful." 

The Alliance for Public Schools is a partner organization that promotes public schools in our community. GradNation is a national public awareness event to discuss the current graduation rate and discuss ways to raise it to 90 percent by 2020.

The Summit is one of 100 held across the country, but this is the only one that is student-conceived and student-led. This GradNation Community Summit will serve as a launch pad for the development of a community action plan that outlines how both counties will accelerate efforts to raise the high school graduation rate.

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