Over 230 administrators, staff members and community volunteers united Saturday, Sept. 17 for
the district’s annual Walk for Success initiative. The program involves teams of volunteers from each high school and various intermediate campuses who make phone calls and pay personal home visits to offer support to students who have not re-enrolled for the academic school year.
The program helps students who are only a few credits away from graduation receive their high school diploma by way of the Community School, Virtual School, TAKS prep courses or regular classroom attendance.
The event kicked off at Sam Rayburn High School with an inspirational message from a former Dobie student who was determined to graduate on time, while maintaining a job.
“I was two years behind,” Adrian Rodriguez said. “I came back to talk to Dobie and they gave me two options: either stay at Dobie and graduate by late December or go to Community School and graduate on time with your peers. I took that option because I didn’t want to be left behind. When I went to the Community School, it felt like a community high school. It was on your own time…and I am happy to say that I am a graduate of the Class of 2016.”
His story mirrors that of many students who have not re-enrolled in school in the district, which is why Board President Nelda Sullivan, who was among several board members in attendance that day, believes this walk is important for students in the district.
“The students who have dropped out are important to us,” Sullivan said. “We have the resources available to help them complete their education and make them feel they are welcome and would love to have them back. You have no idea today how important that education is going to be as you walk down the road of life.”
Volunteers visited a total of 190 homes and of those 29 students began the enrollment process on the day of the walk; 12 students re-enrolled in schools during the walk; and 41 students made a commitment to return to school. Volunteers made contact with 351 students and parents during the home visits.
Pasadena ISD School Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell talks to the crowd about the significance of the event.
Adrian Rodriguez, recent graduate, talks about options available to students interested in graduating on time through the Community School.
South Houston High Principal Andrea Wenke goes door-to-door during the walk.
Wenke leaves a note encouraging a student to return to school.