Challenging America’s High School Students to Stay in School and Excel In and Out of the Classroom
In America, 33% of students drop out of high school every year. Baby boomers are retiring. It’s the perfect storm and a national problem with far reaching impact on our society – lost wages and taxes, increased incarceration, and industry left with unfilled jobs.
On the way to earning the Attendance Award from The Challenge Program, Inc. (TCP) last year, Haley discovered something important. Her grades were improving.
Now, her goal is to keep her grades up and to take home the program’s Academic Improvement Award and the $250 that comes with it.
“Winning the Attendance Award was the best thing that happened to me. It taught me to work hard and that it’s important to come to school or work every day.”
This is what Dan Perkins had in mind when he started TCP in 2003.
A CEO and commissioned officer with the United States Marines Corps, Dan’s mission was to inspire high school students to reach their full potential. He wanted to instill solid work habits in all students so they would stay in school and excel both in and out of the classroom.
Just as businesses reward employees with a bonus for top performance, Dan chose one school and awarded four students from each of the sophomore, junior and senior classes with $250 for reaching the top of their class in one of four categories – Attendance, Academic Improvement, Academic Excellence and Community Service.
Today, TCP partners with businesses in 100 high schools in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio to provide incentives for achievement. This unique program has been introduced to over 300,000 students in both urban and rural communities. Nearly 2 million dollars has been presented to more than 6,000 students.
In motivational assemblies all students are challenged to compete for an award. Business sponsors talk about careers within their companies. Some sponsors return to speak in classrooms, attend career fairs and provide job shadowing and mentoring.
“The business community understands that for their industries to succeed there are tangible benefits to investing today in their future workforce. Students see that school is relevant and educators have an effective tool to improve student performance,” said Barbara Grandinetti, Executive Director.
The program is making strides. In pursuit of an award, students are making dramatic improvements in grades, providing thousands of hours of service to their communities and they are coming to school – every day.
“Since TCP began here, we’ve seen record-breaking improvement in attendance. This school year, 18 students achieved that goal,” said Bill Young, principal of United Local High School in Ohio.
Zachary, a student in West Virginia, improved his GPA from a 0.143 to a 3.0 to earn the program’s Academic Improvement Award. He said, “I never thought in a million years I’d be standing on this stage. This motivated me.”
In the past year and a half, more than 125,000 students like Zachary were challenged to compete for a top spot in their class. In the end, 1,600 winners earned a total of $400,000.
The Challenge Program, Inc. is making an impact. You can too by supporting what we do. Together, we can help students across the nation stay in school so that they can achieve so much more.
More About This Charity
The Challenge Program
The mission of The Challenge Program, Inc. is to partner with business to motivate high school students to excel both in and out of the classroom. This partnership creates good habits in students and provides businesses with tangible results for their investment.
- This Achievement raised $950,665
- This Achievement helped 125,119 people
- 125,000 high school students challenged, 1,600 students awarded, $400,000 distributed to winners