For the third year in a row, Lubbock Independent School District is taking the fight against drop outs to the street. Groups of LISD teachers and volunteers went to the homes of kids who have dropped out of school to try and talk them into coming back.
"This is a great event. Every year we go into the community and seek out students who for whatever reason, and there are many reasons, don't come back to school. We invite them to come back and rejoin the LISD family," said Joel Castro, the associate superintendent for LISD.
"Even if it's one student, it's one student in our community that will struggle in finding a job. We want the student to be self-sufficient. We want them to be educated," Castro said.
Dr. Karen Garza is the superintendent for Lubbock ISD. She says this day is important and emotional for everyone involved.
"We've had teams, elementary teams that knock on doors of students they thought that were in their elementary class. it's amazing some of the challenges that young people experience. I think this exercise puts a face on this very, very tough national issue," Garza said.
More than just trying to get kids back to school, Dr. Garza feels teachers and volunteers are trying to prepare them for a successful future.
"I believe today we're changing lives and making a very positive difference in the lives of a lot of young people giving them the opportunity to complete their high school education," Garza said.
Kids drop out for many reasons. School is too difficult, family issues, they have a child at home they need to care for, or in the case of Roger Escobedo, there was one section of a test that he couldn't pass. After many times trying to conquer and understand the math, he became frustrated and tried to go to an easier school, but after the military wouldn't accredit his school, he is back to finish his senior year of high school.
"I tried to join the military. They were like 'not happening' so I was like, great, they never told me it was a non-accredited school, so I thought about it and was like well I'll go back to high school," Escobedo said.
He currently has straight A's and is on track to graduate at the end of the year and achieve his dream of being in the Air Force. He wants to become a nurse, so for his mother, Sally Elias, what LISD is doing means a lot.
"My son had gotten himself into some situations and it really just snow-balled on him. He has tried so hard to get his life back together. These kids need someone to believe in them, they need someone to say you're going to make it, everything going to be okay and your dreams will come true," Sally said.
Lubbock High principal Douglas Young said his group had been successful, tracking down two children, and even talking to a mother about getting her GED.
"We just met with the parent of another student who happened to not be here. But come to find out this young lady's interested in coming back to school and the mother did not finish high school as well. She's only one semester from graduation, so we talked to her about some opportunities we may be able to provide," Young said.
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