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Posted: February 12, 2018

Rio Grande to Benefit from Graduation Acceleration Grant

The grant was awarded to Mission: Graduate to help more young people to high school graduation and post-secondary success.

Rio Grande High School students will be the beneficiaries of a $100,000, two-year grant that strives to raise the high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. 

America’s Promise Alliance, with generous support from AT&T, awarded a GradNation Acceleration Grant to Mission: Graduate as part of the GradNation campaign.

Mission: Graduate, a program of United Way of Central New Mexico, is one of five grant recipients around the country that are poised to accelerate progress for more young people to high school graduation and post-secondary success.

"We wholeheartedly believe that giving students the opportunity to learn from employers helps them focus on the goal of high school graduation with an eye toward a future as college students,” said Ed Rivera, President and CEO, United Way of Central New Mexico. “This partnership and grant allow us to positively impact students’ lives.”

The grant will fund Rio Grande's early warning system program to support off-track juniors and seniors and work to re-engage youth who have already left school. These students will gain access to college and career exploration opportunities in addition to mentors and counselors.

With the Albuquerque Public Schools graduation rate currently at 66 percent, support from this grant will help Rio Grande High School reach 215 additional students.

Applications for the grant were submitted from 10 priority states that would have a measurable impact on improving the national graduation rate and closing equity gaps. In total, there were more than 100 applicants– all committed to improving graduation rate outcomes for a specific group of students using strategies aligned to the GradNation Action Platform. The platform identifies six areas that every community should act on to accelerate the high school.

"We know that the most significant improvements in the national high school graduation rate will happen on the local level – in districts and communities working each day to meet the individual needs of young people,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise. “The final grantees were selected because they demonstrated a deep understanding of the specific student populations needing additional support and have a track record for maximizing the resources and partnerships to meet those student needs.”

"The GradNation campaign continues to demonstrate progress at increasing our nation’s high school graduation rate while also helping students pursue high quality, post-secondary degrees. Both of which are critical steps to creating a skilled and diverse workforce,” said Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president of corporate social responsibility and president of the AT&T Foundation. “It is important that we continue to invest in work that helps move students across the high school graduation stage and gets them ready for the next phase of life.”

This work of the GradNation campaign is a continuation of a decade-long undertaking. During that time, the national graduation rate has increased from 73 percent to its current all-time high of 84.1 percent. That 10 percent increase represents the more than 2 million additional young people who were able to graduate from high school with their class over the past decade.

The intended outcomes for this work include: an increase to the graduation rate, shared learning for adoption and replication in other states and communities, and strengthened local capacity to improve outcomes for young people based on their needs and strengths.

Learn more about the grant.