Apr 4, 2013 9:37 PM by Siera Santos, firstname.lastname@example.org
There's a stigma that goes along with being labeled a "high school dropout."
Often times, all it takes is a second chance. Harrison School District 2 has partnered with the Career Building Academy to give Colorado Springs dropouts the opportunity to get back in the classroom and earn a diploma.
At the E3 Dropout Recovery Center, students spend half the day doing online classes toward graduation in the computer lab. One-on-one help is available from a certified teacher. The other half is hands-on learning in the construction industry.
"I think it's better coming here than getting a GED because I get my high school diploma and get to learn a trade as well," said Enrique Padilla-Vialpondo.
The program is open to anyone who is has dropped out or is on the verge of dropping out. Students from neighboring districts are also encouraged to join.
"We turn no kid away. We really believe in no child left behind," said Coordinator of Student Support Woody Longmire.
Longmire explained the "three e's" in E3 stand for engage, educate and employ. His team has gone through extreme efforts to recruit. One Saturday, a group of volunteers went door-to-door to reach out to students who had been identified as dropouts or who had stopped showing up for school. He willingly gives out his number and tells students they are allowed to call any time.
When the students graduate, they receive a diploma from Harrison School District and are also eligible to earn hours toward a certification as a plumber or electrician.
"Honestly, I screwed up a lot the first beginning two years of school and I wasn't doing a good job so believe this is my second chance," said Antonio Mays.
All students will have an opportunity to build a house from the ground-up.
For more information, you can contact Woody Longmire.
Student Support Coordinator