American Graduate Day 2012

American Graduate Day was a national broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis. The broadcast highlighted work being done to help at-risk students stay in school, and served as a kick-off a week of American Graduate-related programming airing on public television stations nationally.

American Graduate Day 2013 

American Graduate Day 2014

Local Segment Organizations and Programs

In addition to the national broadcast, each half hour of programming featured a seven minute segment, produced by WMHT, telling the story of local community partners and how they provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students across the Capital District Region. WMHT President and CEO Robert Altman conducted interviews with representatives from these organizations. Watch the local segments below or click here for a summary from American Graduate Day. For a summary of national programming, click here.

Become a champion of American Graduate! 

Meet the organizations and individuals featured in the local segments and find out what YOU can do to support students in our region to stay in school!

Issue: Adolescent Health and Teen Pregnancy

Nationally, pregnancy is the number one reason teen girls drop out of high school.

Watch Adolescent Health & Teen Pregnancy on PBS.

Nationally, pregnancy is the number one reason teen girls drop out of high school.Only 50% of teen moms have a high school diploma by age 22 compared with 90% of girls who did not have a teen pregnancy. In addition, only 38% of girls having a child before 18 will earn their high school diploma and fewer than 2% earn a college degree.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Teen Pregnancy
• Keeping Teen Moms in School-A Social Work Challenge; Social Work Today, Mar/Apr 2012

Segment Interview Guests:

Robert Altman, Wilma Alvarado-Little and Joana Restrepo-ColonWilma Alvarado-Little, Director of Community Outreach Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, UAlbany

Joana Restrepo-Colon, YMOM Program Participant





Robert Altman and Meagan Carroll

Meaghan Carroll, Director of Education, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood

Featured Program Information:

• Young Moms on a Mission Program (YMOM), Amsterdam, NY, Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, University at Albany 

• S.T.A.R.S. Peer Education Program, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Albany, NY


Issue:  Outside-of-School Community and Mentoring Programs

Mentoring is an effective strategy for working with youth in at-risk situations.

Watch Outside-of-School Community & Mentoring Programs on PBS.

'No one cared if I stayed in school!' Eight of ten young people in mentoring relationships have one or more problems that put their health, development, or success in school at risk.

Mentoring is an effective strategy for working with youth in at-risk situations who are in need of role models and a positive support system. In addition, community-based and service-based learning programs are credited for reengaging students by providing learning opportunities within natural environments and community-based problem solving.

• National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
• Community-Based Learning: Engaging Students for Success and Citizenship

Segment Interview Guests:

Robert Altman and Emily Martyn GarvillaEmily Martyn Garvilla, TEAM Program Coordinator, Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady






Robert Altman, Abby Lublin and Denise Delvalle

Abby Lublin, Community Educator, Collard City Growers

Denise Delvalle, Youth Media Sanctuary Producer

Featured Program Information:

• Teen Empowerment and Mentoring (TEAM) ProgramBoys and Girls Club of Schenectady, Schenectady, NY 

• Uptown Summer Youth Employment Program, North Troy Environmental Education Consortium, Troy, NY


Issue: Engaging and Relevant Curricula

High quality career and technical education can help students to persist in school.

Watch Engaging & Relevant Curricula on PBS.

When surveyed,  47% of students who had dropped out said a major reason for their decision was that classes were not interesting, and 69% said they were not motivated or inspired to work hard. High quality career and technical education (CTE) can help more students to persist in school and graduate, preparing them for the postsecondary education and training that will be critical to future economic successes. Students who entered high school at a normal or younger age had a decreased risk of dropping out of high school as they added CTE courses to their curriculum, up to a point at which they were taking one CTE course for every two academic courses.


 Dropping Out of High School and the Place of Career and Technical Education, an October 2005 report by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
• The Silent Epidemic – Perspectives of High School Dropouts

Segment Interview Guests:

Robert Altman, Terry Swett, Heather Bigelow and Cameron WallaceTerry Swett, Director of Career & Technical Education, Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School

Heather Bigelow, Technology Teacher, Captial Region BOCES Career and Technical School

Cameron Wallace, Recent Graduate, Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School

Featured Program Information:
• Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School, Albany NY

American Graduate now offers 800 classroom resources that engage students, refresh lessons, and connect classroom learning to real world experiences! Click here to check out the wide range of educational resources available.

Issue: Bullying

One out of 10 students drop out of school because they are bullied.

Watch Bullying on PBS. 

One out of 10 students drop out of school because they are bullied. Bullying is the most common form of violence in our society, and between 15% and 30% of students are bullies or victims. It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students, and research indicates that many of these students will experience academic, interpersonal, and physical and mental health problems as a consequence of their involvement in bullying. Findings on the impact of bullying on students, and on the school environment, illustrate a need for improved bullying intervention and prevention efforts in schools across the country.

• Do
• National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
• National Education Association

Segment Interview Guests:

Aaron Harrell and Natalie PanelliAaron Harrell, Home School Coordinator, City School District of Albany

Natalia Panelli, Junior, Albany High School, NCBI Participant




Featured Program Information:
• National Coalition Building Institute Anti-Bullying/Anti-Violence Program at Albany High School, 
Albany, NY