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Getting to Graduation

This article is more than 11 years old.

The number is sobering: One-third of Boston high school students drop out before graduation. They leave school and enter life with no high school diploma, and fewer chances at well-paying jobs.

But students still make it through, sometimes in the face of even more sobering conditions at home. There's T. a young girl whose father was in and out of jail, whose mother somehow put food on their table even when they had no hot water, no heat, and no power. There's A. whose severe depression forced her out of school for years, but instead of getting a GED, she went back to high school and will get her diploma this month at the age of 21.

There's been a lot of talk about the quality of public school education. This week, we're taking a look at the conditions beyond the schools' doors. Home. Family. Personal lives.

What stood in the way of graduation? How did you make it through? What kept you in school when you could have dropped out? Were there moments you thought you couldn't do it? Step out from behind the statistics and help us put a face to the success stories we know are out there.

And to all the Massachusetts highschoolers getting their diplomas this month, congratulations.

This program aired on June 6, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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