Here is my illustration for this week’s opinion piece about highschool dropout rates in Oregon:

“Only 67 percent of high school students in Oregon graduate within four years. Portland faces a more daunting problem: only 59 percent of Portland high schoolers will graduate in four years. Even fewer of these are likely to pursue higher education; roughly half of high school drop outs will not attend universities or pursue other degrees. In other words, Portland has a real problem on its hands…”

When I was a teenager, highschool became a stressful, scary place for me. I was smart but my grades were terrible. Family problems, homelessness, moving, missed days, terrible grades and other issues combined and I almost fell through the cracks. I left home and came to Eugene to live with my sister and ended up in a really awesome program in Eugene that accelerated my highschool coursework and allowed me to go to school in the afternoons and evenings. They soon realized that I learn quickly in areas that I’m interested in (writing, literature and art of course) and they helped me to graduate early and start in community college, where I did really well. I’m really grateful for the teachers that took the time to help me succeed and not be another bad statistic.

To read the rest of the article, go here.

-EHT 02/04/12