American Graduate Day

Sat., October 14 from 2:00 - 6:00 pm

American Graduate Day is a public media initiative to help communities address the high school dropout crisis.

The United States has reached an 81% graduation rate and is on track to hit 90% by 2020.

However, in order to reach that goal, a great deal of work remains to be done to ensure all children of different populations not only finish high school but are best prepared to enter the world as productive citizens.

Public media has worked to raise awareness around these issues through American Graduate, and Maine Public is pleased to honor Portland Empowered, Gateway to Opportunity, and Chris Gaunce, the owner of Central Maine Auto Group who developed an innovative student mentorship program, as American Graduate Champions. Watch their stories below.

Ways to Connect

Central Maine Motors Auto Group, based in Waterville, has a strong relationship with Mid-Maine Technical Center, the regional career and technical education school that draws students from seven surrounding high schools. And that relationship has led to steady opportunities for students in the area, both during, and after high school.

The mission of Portland Empowered is to help students and parents have their voices heard in Portland’s public high schools, working on the idea that engaged students and families will lead to better schools, and a better education for all.

Gateway to Opportunity brought together nearly 10 nonprofit organizations last summer to provide real-world opportunities for students from Portland high schools. The program provides a chance for young people to gain work experiences and professional skills while taking on projects that benefit their community.