Holyoke program helps former dropouts to graduate

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Holyoke has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the state, but a new program hopes to change that.

The program is called Pathways to Success, and it’s focused on getting high school students who have dropped out to come back to the school system and complete their high school education.

22News was there Tuesday morning at Maurice Donahue Elementary School as the first graduate of the program, Benjamin Destromp, shook hands with Superintendant Dr. Sergio Paez and received his diploma.

Destromp said that the program gave him options to work on his degree at home, and at his own pace through online courses.

“I feel real good. I feel ready to go and start my life,” Denstromp said. “I didn’t think this day would come.”

In 2013, Holyoke’s high school graduation rate was about 54%, compared to the state’s graduation rate of 85%.

Several other school systems in western Massachusetts offer these kinds of credit redemption programs. The best way to find out about them is to call your district superintendent’s office.

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