Project 10% aims to reduce high school dropout rates

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Merced County is launching a first of its kind program to cut crime, by reducing high school drop out rates.

The district attorney and local education leaders announced the initiative on Friday. It's called Project 10%, and the goal is to reduce high school drop-out rates in the county by 10 percent.

One study found reaching that goal statewide would prevent more than 400 murders and 20,000 aggravated assaults every year in California. The program has U.C. Merced students, who have overcome challenging backgrounds, speak to local middle school classes.

"My struggle, my challenges, my barriers and how I've become successful. I've shared this with students so they know they too can achieve a high school diploma, they too can be successful," said U.C. Merced student Patricia Peredes.

Twelve U.C. Merced students are helping launch the program. Organizers hope this initiative could be a model for other counties across the state.

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