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The national high school graduate rate has hit a record high at 81.4 percent, but a number of students and communities must be reached to continue that growth. Today’s global economy demands a more educated workforce, requiring more students to graduate from high school prepared for post-secondary education and career.Public media is helping local communities keep more students on the path to a high school diploma, college & successful careers.WSKG is a proud community hub station of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen! Check back often for local Education news reports, media produced by teens from our area, and opportunities to get involved!

Art Class Keeps Teen on Path to Graduation

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school. 

Marisa Wolfanger credits art teacher for success at new school and confidence in her own future

Marisa is working toward her high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. She is studying Culinary Arts in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence. After graduation, Marisa plans to enter the workforce and perhaps attend college to study art or animation.

Submitted by Marisa Wolfanger:

My champion is someone who was here for me since day one. When I first came to my new school, I didn’t know many people. I mentioned that I would probably end up eating alone, and she invited me to eat lunch with her in the adult cafeteria. This is how I ended up with my favorite teacher as my friend.We get along due to our love of art. I love art and her class so much that I continue to take her classes even though I have finished all my art credits. My day is always made better by having her class in my day.I painted a bird for a class project and it led to someone asking me to paint a bird for them - And I was payed for it! She has helped me to think I could do something with art in the future, a feat I didn’t think was possible before I met her. My champion is my art teacher, Ms. Crossgrove. 


Sharing Student Voices

Marisa's essay was a selected submission from Who’s Your Champion? community callout. Her story is part of a collection of student reflections celebrating the individuals who provide endless help, support, and encouragement along the challenging path to high school graduation.Thanks for sharing your story, Marisa, and honoring your teacher. Ms. Crossgrove is a special person to have on your side! We look forward to seeing your artistic talents continue to unfold.


More Champion Stories

Learn about the individuals and programs supporting students across Upstate New York. These featured champions were nominated by community members or honored by students from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES.  American Graduate is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.