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American Graduate Day 2017 Returns to WUCF TV

Posted by Jennifer Cook on

ORLANDO -- American Graduate Day 2017 returns to WUCF TV for its sixth consecutive year. Soledad O’Brien will host the national broadcast which premieres Saturday, October 14 from 2PM to 6PM on WUCF TV. Broadcast from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City and streamed on Facebook Live and americangraduate.org, the annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations.

Like last year, American Graduate Day will ask viewers to “Be a Mentor” and impact real change on a young person’s life as we once again team up with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (mentoring.org) to connect viewers with mentoring opportunities in their local communities.

This year’s broadcast will be anchored by “Stories of Champions,” a series of short documentary-style profile pieces, which will spotlight individuals and influential figures in local communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation through engaging mentorship and ongoing support.

“Mentors make a huge difference in the lives of children throughout Central Florida and there is outstanding work being done here to help kids on the path to graduation, said WUCF Executive Director Dr. Phil Hoffman.  “It’s our privilege to highlight this great work and goes to the core of our mission.”

On Saturday, Oct. 14, WUCF TV will spotlight various local individuals and organizations and the work they are doing in the community to help keep students on the path to graduation.

  • UCF CREATE Summer Documentary Camp: Focusing on vision, voice and expression, UCF’s Center for Research in Education, Arts, Technology and Entertainment (CREATE) invited high school students from the Central Florida Boys and Girls Clubs to tell their personal story of success. During the camp, students created documentaries on how mentors have inspired them to complete their graduation from Jones and other area high schools. 
  • Amazing Explorers Preschool Program: The Amazing Explorers Academy is a groundbreaking day care and early childhood education center in Oviedo that is setting the standard for pre-school learning using STEAM curriculum.
  • Kelsey Evans: Kelsey Evans uses social science techniques like mindful meditation and yoga to connect with her students and improve academic outcomes. Evans is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Central Florida’s College of Education.
  • The Central Florida Dreamplex: Amy Gomes, a pediatric physical therapist, has opened her heart and The Central Florida Dreamplex to those with special needs. Located in Clermont, The Dreamplex is a fitness facility designed to provide a safe place for everyone to have fun and learn about staying active.
  • Robot Kits for Sick Children: Critically ill children make up a population of students who don't often receive the educational opportunities they deserve. Dr. Megan Nickels started a group at UCF called Pediatric Interest Group in Education.  The group's members focus on the different ways that they, as educators, can address the needs of terminally ill students. To fill this need, Dr. Nickels has developed a robot kit that provides an interactive way for children to learn mathematics outside of the classroom.
  • QLatinX: QLatinX is a racial, social, and gender justice organization started by Christopher Cuevas. Cuevas started QLatinX after the PULSE tragedy in Orlando in order to establish a safe space for the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and all others) and Latinx populations.
  • Darrell Butler: Darrell Butler mentors and recruits mentors to work in the underserved communities in Central Florida. Butler is the chair of Greater Orlando CARES Mentoring Movement and the chair/co-founder of Choose2Luv Youth Empowerment Program.

Below are a few of the non-profit organizations that will be featured in Stories of Champion segments on American Graduate Day. Visit AmericanGraduate.org/Be-A-Mentor to become a Champion in your own community!

Viewers can join the conversation on social media using the #AmGrad hashtag or by following American Graduate on Twitter and Facebook

American Graduate Day is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen – a public media initiative to help communities address the high school dropout crisis. Additional funding for American Graduate Day is from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Visit the American Graduate website for more details on participating PBS stations as well as other television and radio programs: www.americangraduate.org