What do First Lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush, General Colin Powell, broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien, Shaquille O’Neal, “Girls” actress Allison Williams, and pop stars Zendaya and Jason Derulo have in common? They all champion the importance of keeping young kids in school, and will make appearances (along with other famous guests) during the American Graduate Day live broadcast and online event this Saturday, October 3, from 11 am to 6 pm ET, live from Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City.
American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is public media’s effort to promote solutions to help young people graduate high school and succeed in life. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 100 public television and radio stations have joined forces with more than 1,400 partners across 40 states to shine light on this critical issue. This year’s celebration of organizations and individuals who unite to help kids graduate high school and promote academic success will cover a range of critical issues, including career readiness and college completion, adult mentorship, dropout prevention and re-engagement, early education, special needs, and STEAM.
American Graduate Day is a yearly star-studded affair that shows national and local media segments highlighting how support, advice, and intervention can keep kids in schools on a track to college education. Hosted by Soledad O’Brien, this year’s American Graduate Broadcast will premiere “Stories of Champions,” a series of 14 one-minute profiles of local education champions, and seven short documentaries on influential individuals in their communities who are helping keep students on the path to graduation.
According to data cited by the American Graduate organization, high school graduation rates across America are at an all-time high, surpassing 81 percent. Nevertheless, academic success is still elusive in many American communities. American Graduate also cites research that indicates a key factor in students’ academic success is the presence of a Champion–an adult who helps the student early on in their education, and remains a presence throughout their educational journey. The event’s main goal is to inspire more Americans to become American Graduate Champions by implementing the Seven Simple Steps, which range from becoming a mentor to donating school supplies to communities in need.