Waterloo volunteers encourage dropouts to come back to school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo volunteers encourage dropouts to come back to school

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They aren't your typical door to door salesmen. Instead, volunteers with the Waterloo School District are selling a second chance to graduate high school.

"Well, I know what it took to get me through high school, through college and all I want to do is give somebody it back," said Rudy Jones, volunteer.

Jones joined more than 90 volunteers Saturday trying to reach out to dropouts, through the project "Reconnect to Graduate."

The goal is to go to the students home, talk to them, and give them information about coming back.

"At some point and time they dropped out for whatever reason. Now they've got the opportunity to come back. They see there is a support group," said Jones. 

After several failed attempts to connect with a student Saturday, Jones' group ran into 17-year-old Keyon Garner.

Garner is a former dropout who's now back in school.

"Looking at everybody, everybody getting jobs and stuff. And I don't want to be a kid out here in the streets running from house to house doing nothing," said Garner.

This group of volunteers were hoping to talk to Garner's friend who had dropped out, but he wasn't home. Garner says he plans to talk to his friend about going back to get his diploma.

"I got 13 credits right now and I'm suppose to have 44. I've got to fight to graduate from my class," said Garner.

In Waterloo, the drop out rate last year was 6.63% for grades 9-12. Volunteers knocked on 170 doors Saturday. They hope this year's success rate is higher than the 30 students who came back last year.



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