American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen is a public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help students stay on the path to graduation and future success. Public broadcasting has a long history improving educational outcomes for high-need students and communities. The dropout crisis demands attention now, and we are rising to the challenge of doing our part to address this problem.


In Dayton, ThinkTV is working with national and community-based partners to do two things—raise awareness by creating targeted content on all facets of the issue for broadcast, and engage and empower students at risk of dropping out through community collaborations and classroom resources.

The initiative puts faces on the numbers and generates understanding about the risk factors and what caring adults can do to help.


Success can't be achieved by any one group alone but public media can leverage its capacity—on-air, online, and on-the-ground—to increase understanding and dialogue around the issues facing today’s students that cause them to drop out.


By the Numbers

The statistics are staggering, but what is clear is that millions of young people enter adulthood without the preparation they need to become productive citizens. The future looks grim for the more than 1 million young people who drop out of high school in America each year.

  • More than 7,000 students drop out of school in America every day.

  • Nationwide only 75.5% of students earn their high school diplomas on time. This falls to 65% for African American and Hispanic students.

Investing in solutions to the dropout crisis would have a profound effect on our economy, on our national crime rate, and on our ability to compete in the global marketplace.

  • Four out of 10 dropouts receive some kind of government assistance.

  • Dropouts are eight times more likely to become incarcerated.

  • The annual cost to educate a student is $9,644. The annual cost to incarcerate a person is $22,600.

  • Nationally, reducing the dropout rate by 10% a year would produce $191 million in crime-related savings alone.

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