Press Release Archive


In the words of graduate Ricky Morales, “I recently took my ACT test and scored a 25! This put me in the top 17% in Colorado and the top 19% in the United States. My teachers were definitely right, ‘a mind is terrible thing to waste.’”

Through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the StreetSchool Network is spending significant effort on post secondary transition and support, making the latest class of graduates the first to experience a new level of guidance and encouragement toward solid options.

As a part of this process, ten schools have focused on developing local college and technical school partnerships that allow for solid handoffs as well as providing dual credit opportunities while students are still in high school. Additionally, on a national basis, partnerships have been developed for training in aviation, tax accounting and HVAC. Partnerships in other trades and high demand jobs are in the development phase.

When a student comes to one of our schools, we want to see a Student Learning & Career Transition Plan created and then efforts both inside and outside of the classroom focused on getting that student to take steps toward the career preparation. Whether that means job shadowing, internships, apprenticeship, early college courses or summer employment, we want to see our students making a livable wage and understanding how they get to where they want to go.” Marybeth Leavell, Director of College/Career Transition.
“What excites me is just to see lives transformed. That is why we are in this business. A diploma isn’t the end all, but it is an important demarcation in the lives of our students and helps to propel them forward to the next steps in life” according to StreetSchool Network President, Tom Tillapaugh.

“In tough economic times, it is important for our donors to realize what a gift they gave to society this year in terms of saved expenses and increased tax revenue by helping these young people to achieve success. Being conservative, this class alone saved taxpayers 674 million dollars in estimated lifetime income supports and more than 100 million in lost tax revenue.”
Studies related to the monetary benefits of a diploma:

About the StreetSchool Network: The StreetSchool Network is working nationwide to meet the challenge of at-risk youth by developing a network of schools that provide personalized education, a moral code and tools for self-sufficiency.

The network aims to reduce the high school dropout rate by giving students a second chance at educational success through 40+ member schools that educate the “whole student,” with programs addressing academic rigor, career preparation, life-skills building, economic literacy and spiritual development.

Member schools are annually required to demonstrate that their students possess more than three risk factors that could keep them from achieving academic success resulting in network enrollment where more than half of the students live below the poverty level and three quarters are minorities.