We recently published a post titled, “DeKalb’s graduation rate under the new state formula: 58.65%” which listed graduation rates school by school in DeKalb. The new calculations showed that Cross Keys graduation rate plummeted from 85.1% to 48.34% using the new state formula. Kim Gokce, founder of the Cross Keys Foundation then shared with us the human side to the story, as told by a Cross Keys graduate. We need to remember that these are young human beings, with hopes and dreams. They are not test scores. They need and deserve our support, encouragement and mentorship to help place them on a pathway to success in the future.
Cathy’s essay below about her journey to self-worth and education at Cross Keys is a 360 degree view of how challenging the path through high school is for many of our youth. With the help of a loving and dedicated CK faculty and with exposure to Athena’s Warehouse empowerment programs and inspiring volunteers, young women like Cathy in our poorest communities get a view into a future they’ve never imagined or been exposed to in their circles.
One of nine children, Cathy watched her older sisters lose their educational opportunities through teen pregnancies. As the first in her family history to graduate from high school, Cathy shows how positive change can be achieved through exposure to development opportunities and mentorship by women role models.
I’m afraid that the realities behind the low graduation rates among our populations are very stark and not really in the scope of what our schools can address. All I demand of our public systems is that they provide equity in capital distribution (facilities and amenities) and equal access to quality curriculum options to these students. I don’t expect DeKalb to change the social realities – just treat all students equitably in budgets and programs.
Engagement by organizations like Athena’s Warehouse and other similar groups can make a huge difference on the social and empowerment side of the effort. Please consider volunteering with or supporting such an organization. I have seen the results of their efforts first-hand and they are changing lives forever for better with valuable information and loving mentoring. But I should just let Cathy talk …
“Proud of being a woman”