and will be offline intermittently between 12:30 p.m. & 7 p.m. Saturday.

Class Dismissed Cap Radio

Original air date: September 20, 2013

Encore broadcast: December 20, 2013 | 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

One out of four adults in California is a high school dropout. Class Dismissed takes an up-close look at the crisis through the lives of four young people from the Central Valley. The stories reveal what’s at stake for their future and ours.


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No Regrets, Just Keep It Moving

Unyque Jackson became pregnant in her senior year of high school. But, she didn’t see that as a reason to drop out. Through a school program providing childcare, credits and moral support, she graduated and is moving on with her life.

School or Survival?

Geronimo Garcia was on the path to dropping out by the time he started kindergarten. He followed his brothers into drugs and gangs. He knows if he doesn’t change his life, he will end up in jail or dead. But it’s hard to break those chains.

Family First

Roosevelt Webb had no choice but to drop out of high school. His father was dying. A friend told Roosevelt about a charter school where he’d get paid to learn a skill while completing his credits. He’d be the first in his family to earn a diploma.

Building Futures

Gina Vongkaeo's future wasn't looking very bright. She dropped out of high school, got in trouble and was serving time for burglary. Despite her mistakes, she didn't give up on herself. She found the support she needed to turn her life around.


Rview 209_rotator

Youth from 12 different cultural communities around San Joaquin County came together to talk about high school dropout. They shared personal experiences and learned how to use mobile phones to express their views.  Hear their  stories and see their photos  on this community media blog RView209.


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Join parents, teachers, youth, and civic leaders in a community dialogue to discuss the challenges facing today’s young people and ways to improve community health. Share stories, explore solutions, get involved. 

Class Dismissed was produced as a project for The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

Music by Podington Bear, Anitek, Scott Collard, and Broke for Free.

Funding for this documentary provided by:
The California Endowment
Sierra Health Foundation California HealthCare Foundation

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High Cost of High School Dropouts



is the overall dropout rate for California Class of 2012



is the dropout rate for African Americans in California Class of 2012



is the dropout rate for San Joaquin County Class of 2009


$550 million

could be saved each year by cutting the California dropout rate in half



juvenile crimes could be prevented each year by cutting the California dropout rate in half



is the overall graduation rate for California Class of 2012



is the graduation rate for African Americans in California Class of 2012



is the graduation rate for San Joaquin County Class of 2009


1 in 2

teen moms in the US fail to earn their diploma by age 22 


$87 million

is the estimated cost to taxpayers for public health, juvenile justice costs and lower income and educational attainment of 1071 teen mothers who gave birth in San Joaquin County in 2010

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Become a Supporter