American Graduate

American Graduate - Corporation for Public Broadcasting

American Graduate is part of a national initiative launched by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to improve high school graduation rates and help stop the damaging school trend of school dropouts – estimated to be more than a million students a year. WOSU is one of more than 60 public media and television stations around the country that are working directly with their communities to address the dropout crisis.

Learn more at the national American Graduate website.

2015 Stories of Champions

WOSU was one of 45 public media stations across the country chosen to produce local Stories of Champions featuring advocates who have made a difference in preventing school dropout and increasing high school graduation with their leadership and commitment to initiatives that have had solid impact on the lives of youth and families. We salute these American Graduate Champions.

Panel participant

Rebecca Asmo
Rebecca Asmo is Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus (BGCC). In 2015, under the leadership of Rebecca Asmos, they have increased their services to seven locations serving 4,000 youth. Watch Video.

Panel participant

Jeff Siegel
Jeff Siegel became part of ASPIRATIONS in 2006 and has been the Program Coordinator since 2007. ASPIRATIONS runs a program for teens, 13-17 years of age, and for young adults, Age 18-30 to help participants with social issues, mainly, problem solving, social communication, and transitions. Watch Video.

Panel participant

Pamela Reisch
Pamela Reisch was the first pre-K teacher hired by Columbus City Schools in 1989. She became the Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Program for the district in 2006. Watch Video.

Watch more American Graduate Stories of Champions videos.

Additional Videos in This Series

Panel participant

American Graduate Part 1

A panel of community stakeholders analyzed the implications of dropping out and highlights local initiatives to help students finish school at a forum, “American Graduate.” Watch the video

Panel participant

American Graduate Part 2

Part 2 of the series looks at local applications of the primary approaches to addressing school dropout prevention; intervention and recovery from the perspective of a school superintendent; an administrator from a community-based organization; and a high school senior. Watch the video

Effective Approaches to the Dropout Problem

Student graduating

Academic Acceleration Academy

Resources and programs offered by the Academic Acceleration Academy are available to students who have dropped out of school to help them regain footing and earn a high school diploma. Watch the video.


AT&T Success Center

The AT&T Student Success Centers provide high-risk ninth graders with mentoring and counseling services; career exploration and training in effective study skills. Watch the video.

Student and mentor

Project Mentor

Focused on building strong mentoring relationships between adult role models and students, Project Mentor is a collaboration between Columbus City Schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. Watch the video.

All Sides with Ann Fisher logo

All Sides with Ann Fisher on Dropout Prevention

Ann Fisher discusses the impact of the dropout problem and local solutions with Nancy Nestor Baker from United Way of Central Ohio and Maureen Casamassimo from the AT&T Success Center. Listen to the podcast.

American Graduate logo

Dropout Prevention Resources

The compilation gives current national and local information on the dropout crisis and profiles effective and promising approaches to the problem. Download the PDF.