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About the Initiative

a group of smiling graduatesMaryland Public Television (MPT), a dedicated education station with deep roots in the community and schools, is leading the local arm of American Graduate, a national initiative to build awareness around the high school dropout crisis.  The multifaceted, five-year initiative is designed to educate communities, schools and families, provide opportunities for collaboration and share helpful resources to improve high school graduation outcomes. To build a strong foundation for the project, MPT brought together local leaders, stakeholders, education organizations, and dropout prevention experts to participate in an active and thought-provoking community conversation.

Participants shared insights about everything from key risk factors and early warning systems, to local resources and alternative education programs to support at-risk youth. Hear what our experts had to say and get a closer look into this local and national issue. View the Community Conversation.

Building on the community conversation and feedback from project partners, MPT gathered a valuable list of resources and programs to support at-risk youth and families. The programs include everything from volunteer and mentorship opportunities, to alternative education options and programs for struggling youth, as well as opportunities for community and school engagement.

At-risk youth have a voice and a compelling story that led them to where they are today. To really understand the core issues, it is critical to hear their stories. Whether it’s poverty, illness, poor attendance, caring for a parent, or lack of family support, something in their lives is preventing them from succeeding at school. MPT and project partner Wide Angle Youth Media visited schools in Baltimore City to gain a first-hand perspective of the challenges at-risk youth face. Their voices and stories were captured through face-to-face video interviews and are available for viewing online.

This website serves as a community gateway to dropout prevention information, local and alternative education programs and tangible supports and opportunities for at-risk youth. Through choice, change and commitment, we can work together to support children in need, and help pave the way for a brighter future for families in Maryland.

The National Initiative

Public media plays a significant role in community and national awareness, with the ability to reach wide audiences and bring partners, organizations, families and students together for a common goal. The dropout crisis demands attention, and public media is rising to the challenge to address this problem. Made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the campaign is designed to raise awareness and dialogue through national and local programming, community outreach, resources and links to support services and alternative education programs.

More than 75 public radio and television stations have joined forces with over 800 partners and 200 at-risk schools to shed light on the problem and share solutions. Local public television and radio stations are empowering individuals at the community level by increasing national and local reporting, convening local stakeholders, and providing access to free resources for teachers, parents and students. By working together and remaining vigilant, stations are reaching more children and communities and seeding the foundation for a prosperous economic future for our country. National partners include America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Johns Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center, and The Alliance for Excellent Education.