Second chance for high school drop-outs

TUCSON- Nearly 19,000 junior high and high school students in Arizona are now drop outs, and that’s just in last year alone.

There’s now a chance for them to turn their lives around and get a diploma.

The best part is it’s free.

Shortly after hearing about the program, one concerned parent called the school right away.

She said she hopes her son can graduate from GradLink.

“I think that he’s got the potential,” said Brenda Libby.

Libby has a GED, but she wants more for her son Michael.

“I got decent paying jobs, but I felt like I just never reached that upper level,” she said.

She said Michael has gone to public, charter, even online schools.

“It was really difficult for him to be motivated. It wasn’t challenging for him and it was really hard for him to stick with it,” said Libby.

Now at 19, he hasn’t graduated and has no diploma.

“But he’s a good kid, so I know he’s got it in him,” said Libby.

Libby believes GradLink could be the answer.

“It inspired me and gave me a little glimmer of hope,” said Libby.

Thursday, the Tucson mayor’s office and Sunnyside Unified School District announced they’re accepting up to 100 drop outs for the program.

“It’s not a GED program. This is really a graduation program,” said Dr. Manuel Isquierdo, superintendent from Sunnyside Unified School District.

The requirements are that the student be 17 to 21 years old.

They must have dropped out of school in the last two years.

They must have passed at least two of the AIMS tests and still need up to five credits to graduate.

“We can educate you anywhere anytime. We’re going to loan you a computer. We are going to give you a free license to learn in terms of online courses. You don’t have to pay for this,” said Isquierdo.

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