214 Former High School Dropouts Get a "Fresh Start"

Posted by Kate Mosteller on 7/10/14 3:00 PM

Polk County Fresh Start Jeremiah Reynolds

Back in 2007, Polk County School District in Florida was facing a significant challenge –  a 40% high school dropout rate (a rate much higher than the national average).  That same year, Polk County partnered with Penn Foster on a Dropout Retrieval program to re-engage students in danger of dropping out, and those who had already dropped out, giving them a second chance at earning a high school diploma.  The “Fresh Start “ program provides these at-risk students with focused on-campus facilitator support, a self-paced testing schedule, and career-focused electives to prepare them for success beyond the classroom.

To date, over 700 Polk County students have graduated from the Fresh Start Program, armed with a high school diploma and the credentials and confidence they need to pursue the next step in their journey…whether that’s continuing their education, or pursuing a job.  Penn Foster attended and spoke at the recent graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014, where 214 students were cheered on by 2500+ family and friends. We had the pleasure of speaking with several students, and hearing first-hand their inspiring stories of what a high school diploma means to them, and what’s next for them now that they are officially a high school graduate.

Meet the 2014 Fresh Start Graduates!

Watch Video

Be sure to share their incredible story, and let us know what you think of their accomplishments on Twitter

Resources: (1) Building a GradNation

Topics: Dropout Crisis, Opportunity Youth, Public & Private High Schools


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