Dropping Back In On-Demand

Dropping Back In On-Demand

Dropping Back In: American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen

Dropping Back In features half-hour programs which introduce some of America’s dropouts, the
issues they face and the people and programs helping them drop back in and get on with their educations and lives. Part of WXXI's American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen Initiative:

While they face similar struggles, each person’s story is unique, complicated, messy, revealing, and compelling. The result is a series of documentaries that are both enlightening and inspiring and include a diverse mix of people,
programs, experts, and explanations.

Building a Better Life: Between 2012 and 2022, the U.S. is projected to need more than 500,000 new carpenter and construction laborers. Yet, as Stephen Hernandez, director of the boatbuilding apprentice program at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation says, "People don't work with their hands anymore." In fact, there are two million jobs available today that are going unfilled because there are no skilled workers available.

Building a Better Life looks at successful apprentice and training-based programs preparing under-educated and unemployed people for available jobs by teaching academic, life, and employment skills while learning a valuable trade. The "Dropping Back In" episode also features Cafe Hope, a culinary apprentice program in New Orleans, and The Makers Coalition of Minneapolis, a training program in sewing manufacturing. The latter of the two began when a local company discovered a successful niche in making domestically manufactured high-end leather goods, but couldn't find enough skilled workers. Their dilemma led to a partnership with a local technical college to develop a course and train people in need of marketable skills.

Watch Building a Better Life:

Second Chances - High school dropouts, educators, and researchers introduce the economic and personal costs of dropping out, why a high school equivalency is no longer enough, and the benefits of dropouts gaining second chances. Two former dropouts, Kellie Blair Hardt, homeless as a child, now an award-winning teacher, and Hasan Davis, former commissioner of juvenile justice for the state of Kentucky, tell their stories.

Watch Second Chances: 


Complicated Lives - Why does it take many dropouts years to attain a high school equivalency? Why do so many former dropouts struggle in college? The challenges faced by many go far beyond academics. Featured programs include Academy of Hope in Washington, DC, a community-based program that works with inner city adults, and Enemy Swim Day School in South Dakota, where children and parents learn together. Tricia Amos, a member of the Dakota Sioux tribe, tells her story.

Watch Complicated Lives: 


Working for the Future- In order for America's dropouts to attain college and career readiness, institutions must change. This program looks at innovative programs that are achieving success, including Lake Area Technical College in SD, which works closely with employers to make sure students gain marketable skills; the Academy for College Excellence, a one-semester program developed By Cabrillo (CA) College to assist under-prepared college students and achieving retention and completion rates far beyond traditional community colleges; and the Makers, a coalition of manufacturers and community colleges working to train much-needed workers that can help keep high-skills manufacturing in America. 

Watch Working for the Future: 

More Than A Statistic - The longer someone is out of school the less likely they are to go back. This program looks at programs designed to get young dropouts back on course. Featured are Pedro Albizu Campos High School in Chicago, where a community-based curriculum incorporates Puerto Rican culture; YouthBuild, a national program combining academics with mentoring and construction career training; and ChalleNG Academy, a National Guard program for dropouts and potential dropouts.

More Than A Statistic: 

 

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