My Future, My Decision
What do dropout students and social online networking have in common?
My Future, My Decision is a program with a different approach.
Debra Duardo, the Director of Dropout Prevention and Recovery for Los Angeles Unified School District shares her thoughts.
LAUSD is doing everything possible to improve our graduation rate. In 2006 we implemented the Diploma Project, a comprehensive dropout prevention and recovery program that leverages multiple services, funding sources and efforts into a single, targeted program that addresses the needs of potential dropouts and their families. This school year we began using social-networking through MySpace and U-Tube to communicate with students that have either dropped out or are thinking about leaving. There is no doubt that today’s students use these sites to communicate and access information. If we want to truly reach them, we need to be where they go for information. We post video testimonials of students that have abandoned school, then came back to finish their diploma. These students serve as mentors to students that are experiencing some of the same challenges completing school. In addition to the social-networking, we use text messaging and popular radio stations to send messages encouraging students to come back to school. (May 2008)