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04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?

Louisiana’s graduation rate has jumped nearly ten points over the last decade. Despite this significant improvement, in some cases graduation still is not the norm, even among middle and high-income families in the state. This Wednesday, Louisiana Public Square brings together former dropouts and at-risk students who have remained in school thanks to the intervention of a caring adult and resources available in the state. Hear these students’ stories of success on a special town hall presentation, “Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates” airing statewide Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and WLAE in New Orleans.

The panelists are:
• Gayle Flowers, Director of Caddo Parish Career, Adult & Alternative Education
• Alonzo "Lonnie" Luce, PhD; Superintendent of St. James Parish Schools
• Frank Phinney, President of the Louisiana School Counselor Association
• Dominique Ricks, a graduate of the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition program
• Jeanne Solis, Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center

The program features interviews of Ken Bradford with Louisiana’s Department of Education; Brittni Davis, a teen mom who graduated through the Louisiana National Guard’s Youth Challenge Program; John Brooks, a current welding student in the Jump Start Program; David Thomas, who overcame behavioral issues through the intervention of a Big Buddy mentor; and Destiny Heaton, who came from an abusive background and is now ready to graduate from the Mansfield Technical College thanks to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s WorkReady U program.

LPB News anchor Shauna Sanford and Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) president Barry Erwin host the discussion.

Funding for this project is provided by the American Graduate Program and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For more information on Louisiana’s dropout problem, visit

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04/15 - Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates

What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school?

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