GradNation and America's Promise
Osceola Nonprofit in Partnership with America’s Promise Alliance’s Grad Nation Campaign
As a “Grad Nation Community,” OCBA, Inc Pledges to Work Toward Increasing Local Graduation Rate to 90 Percent by 2020
Osceola, AR – Local leaders, lead by organization President Sally Wilson today announced they have been named a “Grad Nation Community” by America’s Promise Alliance (America’s Promise), the nation’s largest partnership network working to improve the lives of young people. As a Grad Nation Community, their non-profit OCBA, Inc. will be part of a national network of cities and towns that have agreed to work on improving high school graduation rates by focusing on the local schools that are most in need of improvement. Grad Nation Communities also adopt and work toward achieving America’s Promise’s Grad Nation Campaign goal of increasing the nation’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent with no school in the community’s target area having a graduation rate below 80 percent, helping the United States regain its standing as first in the world in college completion.
The Grad Nation Communities program is part of America’s Promise’s Grad Nation Campaign, a 10-year initiative to mobilize all Americans to take action to end the high school dropout crisis and better prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce.
“In order to end the nation’s dropout crisis and ensure a more successful future for the most vulnerable young people we have to support change at the local level, and that means working to help transform those schools that are struggling the most,” said Elizabeth Morgan, PhD, executive director of the Grad Nation Campaign, America’s Promise Alliance. “Our Grad Nation Communities are an essential part of America’s Promise’s overall dropout prevention work. Through our partnerships with these communities we can make significant progress toward achieving our 2020 goal of 90 percent graduation, and community by community, make for a more prosperous future for the country.”
In addition to supporting the Grad Nation Campaign’s national goals, Grad Nation communities will:
- Engage cross-sector stakeholders to collaborate in increasing local graduation rates;
- Identify shared priorities and focus areas (early childhood education, afterschool programming, youth engagement etc.) for collaboration;
· Provide annual updates on progress and challenges to America’s Promise Alliance.
America’s Promise will offer support and a choice of services to Grad Nation Communities, including recognition, access to knowledge and communications tools, professional development, and opportunities for networking with other communities and America’s Promise Alliance Partners. In addition, Grad Nation Communities that are home to two or more of the nation’s lowest-performing schools can be eligible for direct technical assistance and funding..
Representatives are excited to be invited to the national summit in Washington, D.C in mid-March.
Each year, 1.3 million students drop out of high school—one every 26 seconds, 7,000 every school day. Among those who do graduate, a third will need remedial courses in college and far too few go on to earn a college degree. Research has found and experts agree that the high school dropout crisis has an effect on the nation’s economic health. The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that if all the students from the class of 2010 had graduated on time the U.S. economy would gain more than $330 billion in higher wages, greater consumer buying power, and increased tax contributions over their lifetimes.
The Grad Nation Campaign is the second phase of America’s Promise’s highly successful Dropout Prevention Campaign launched in April 2008. Between 2008 and 2010, America’s Promise sponsored and helped co-convene 105 Dropout Prevention Summits in all 50 states bringing nearly 40,000 policy, business, education, community and faith leaders together with nonprofits, parents and young people to discuss the dropout crisis in their communities and begin a dialogue on solutions around it. For more information on the Grad Nation Campaign or Grad Nation Communities visit:
About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. We bring together more than 400 national organizations representing nonprofit groups, businesses, communities, educators and policymakers. Through our Grad Nation Campaign, we mobilize Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. Building on the legacy of our Founding Chairman General Colin Powell, America’s Promise believes the success of young people is grounded in the Five Promises—caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others. For more information, visit www.americaspromise.org.