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Grad Nation

Building national connections to support education

Representatives from the Community Council attend the Building a Grad Nation summit in Washington, D.C.Through the work of the Beyond Our Gates Community Council, San Joaquin County has been designated a "Grad Nation Community," one of several dozen places throughout the country to have committed to ambitious goals for ending the nation's high school dropout crisis.

The Grad Nation Communities program is spearheaded by America's Promise Alliance, the country's largest partnership network working to improve the lives of young people. As a Grad Nation Community, San Joaquin County joins a coalition working to better prepare young people for college and the 21st Century workforce.

San Joaquin County's designation is, in part, an outcome of Pacific's inaugural Beyond Our Gates Dialogue of Distinction, held in October. The event featured remarks from Elizabeth Molina Morgan, a school- transformation expert and director of the Grad Nation campaign.

"In order to end the nation's dropout crisis and ensure a more successful future for the most vulnerable young people, we have to support change at the local level, and that means working to help transform those schools that are struggling the most," Morgan said. "Our Grad Nation Communities are an essential part of America's Promise's overall dropout prevention work. Through our partnership with these communities, we can make significant progress toward achieving our 2020 goals of 90 percent graduation, and community by community, make for a more prosperous future for the country."

Grad Nation communities are called on to engage cross-sector stakeholders to collaborate in increasing local graduation rates; to identify shared priorities; to share best practices and strategies; and to provide annual updates on progress and challenges.

America's Promise offers national recognition, as well as access to communications tools, professional development opportunities and other services.