Kennewick Schools Tell Dropouts, We Want You Back - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Schools Tell Dropouts, We Want You Back

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The Kennewick School District is bringing a message to the doorsteps of high school dropouts, We Want You Back.

Their successful We Want You Back campaign continued Friday as volunteers and administrators encouraged more students to try an alternative route to graduation.

The High School Academy program at CBC helps former students finish up their studies to earn a diploma.

The Kennewick School District is encouraging dropouts to take this path to graduation for a brighter future and it's changing lives.

This is the second year of the program and after last year's success, Friday they visited twice as many homes, 72 in all.

"I'm really glad they showed up at my doorstep. I'm so glad they actually did because I don't know where I'd be right now if they didn't," said Gustavo Barraza, a former high school dropout.

Barraza opened his door last year and now he has his high school diploma and he's now earning college credits at CBC.

He fell behind in high school and felt ashamed, but now he feels confident about his accomplishments.

"I was not doing anything and now I can show this piece of paper. Yeah, this is what I did. I felt like I was actually going somewhere in life," Barraza said.

"We found that, wow we got a couple kids that we know graduated because we were able to outreach. So we decided to ramp it up again this year," said Lorraine Cooper, Kennewick School District.

Volunteers tell former students and parents, the CBC program can adjust to fit their needs to earn students a diploma and a better future.

"If we can just reach these kids, it is just so satisfying to see they can attain this goal because once they know they can attain this goal, the sky is the limit," said Twila Wood, volunteer.

"We really care about them. We care, we want them to come back and to understand that that high school diploma is just, it's the ticket to a better life," Cooper said.

Barraza says he plans to get his associates degree at CBC and then hopes to move on to Washington State University to earn a degree in criminal justice.

He ultimately wants to become a police officer.

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