Getting Across the Goal Line to a 90% High School Graduation Rate

By Nicole Anderson
May 21, 2015 5:05 PM ET

Getting Across the Goal Line to a 90% High School Graduation Rate

We are on track to a 90% high school graduation rate by 2020! What great news to report at the GradNation Campaign’s Align & Act conference last week in Washington, DC!  When you set a bold goal and maintain focus, progress will happen. 

But like the last mile of a race, we can’t slow down now.  While we’ve officially hit an 81.4 percent grad rate, we know the last 8.6 percent will likely be the hardest to achieve.  This is the time to dig deep and push ourselves to the finish line.  

To achieve our aggressive 90 percent goal, it’s time to make some big bets for exponential change.  For AT&T Aspire, that means investing in innovative new programs using what we know best – technology.

Mentoring students is a central part of Aspire.  A caring adult mentor in a student’s life is a critical component to his success.  So building upon our Aspire Mentoring Academy program, we joined with Civic Enterprises and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to bring together nonprofits that offer mentoring to collaborate and share best practices.  Together we are exploring ways to leverage technology and data to increase our impact through more coordinated interventions for the students who need it most.

Our Aspire Accelerator program is providing financial investment, counseling, access to technology expertise and mentorship to selected ed-tech organizations.  Each startup uses technology to help students succeed in school and future careers.  And the primary goal – unlike most other accelerators - is making an impact on society rather than monetary return.

These are just two examples of programs designed to help us hit the 90 percent goal by 2020. My hope is that every person and organization who shares this goal makes some big bets too.  We won’t hit 90% without you.

This blog originally appeared on GradNation.