AMERICAN GRADUATE: Catherine Bekkedal, School Counseling Specialist
89.9 WJCT is participating in the American Graduate project supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The goal of American Graduate is to reverse the national drop out crisis by identifying and then addressing the factors that cause students to leave school early.
“My name is Catherine Bekkedal and I am a district school counselor specialist with the Duval County Public Schools."
"At the high school level we are focused on academic support and college preparedness and college readiness so that is giving them information regarding financial aid, career exploration activities, college exploration activities. Really getting them ready to graduate and make an educated decision about what their next step is going to be the day after graduation."
"We see students who are faced with having to work to support their families or that the school-based environment is not what they need, so they start looking for an alternative education setting."
"If they drop out in high school, that doesn’t mean they’re never going to go back to complete their high school program, receive a G.E.D., go to college or university, get their Ph.D."
"I just think that relationships are key and that by making that single connection with that one teacher or that one person within that building could save a student’s life and could keep them going and focused on the bigger picture and to help them understand that the bubble they live in right now is their reality and it does need to be acknowledged and supported. But, today’s reality doesn’t have to be tomorrow’s reality."