Graduate Update: The Teacher That Almost Wasn’t

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Pearson and America’s Promise are working together to help communities raise graduation rates for students like this young man who often fall through the cracks.


Josh Wood grew up in Northfield, Minnesota in a difficult home. He became disengaged from school—and he stopped going altogether while in the 8th grade.

It was during that year that his school’s truancy officer invited him to join Summer Plus, a school program with kids in similar circumstances. Josh quickly became interested in school again and, starting in the 9th grade, he was paired with an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow who helped him with academics and study skills.

Josh says this early intervention helped him graduate high school with a total of 24 college credits. He says it helped him go on to graduate from Hamline University. And he says, without it all, he probably wouldn’t be a 4th grade teacher today.

The GradNation State Activation initiative is a collaboration between America’s Promise Alliance and Pearson working to increase high school graduation rates to 90 percent. It’s programs like AmeriCorps Promise Fellows, a team of individuals that ensure youth success, that keep students like Josh motivated to stay in school.

Hear Josh’s story in his own words:

Today, Civic Enterprises and Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education and America’s Promise Alliance will host a webinar discussing the latest data findings on graduation rates in the U.S. To register, please click here. To learn more about the GradNation State Activation program, please click here.

Josh Wood’s Improbable Return to School
from Pearson Learning News on Vimeo.