WILMINGTON -- Yesterday we told you about a startling increase in the number of students dropping out of Bladen County high schools. It's a problem many local counties are facing. Last year 463 students dropped out of New Hanover County schools -- almost 30 more than the previous year. A former New Hanover High School student who dropped out says it was a difficult decision, but one he says was right for him at the time. In 2003 Cody Graham was a New Hanover High School senior. Graham said, "I wasn't too good of a student, I know that. I could have paid attention a lot better in school." He says confusion with his credits showed he had sophomore standing. That was just one factor in his decision to drop out. Graham said, "I dropped out because, there was a couple different factors going on in my life. Part of it was the students in the school, some of it was the teachers." But that wasn't the end of his education. Before leaving New Hanover Graham enrolled in Cape Fear Community College's adult high school program. "It was tough leaving everybody behind," Graham said. "Trying to start over somewhere new, but in the long run it was actually quite better." He received his diploma through the adult high school. Melissa Singler is the director of the program and says it's unfortunate that students must drop out of their schools, in order to finish their education here. Singler said, "They can begin class here with permission from their local school system immediately and lots of students do, but on paper they are indeed a dropout, they are not a transfer." On paper he's a dropout, but that's not what graham considers himself. "If I was just a dropout at Hanover back then and not go back to school, to tell you the truth I think I might be dead." Now 23 years old with a high school education and a job Graham is looking ahead to a college education, at Cape Fear. Graham's advice for students considering dropping out: think long and hard before making that decision. He says you don't always have to do what the crowd is doing, but realize education will carry you through the rest of your life.
- Video Central
- About WWAY