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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!

Students Recognize Faith and Family as Their Personal Champions

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. 

For Dominic Mooney and Patrick McKnight, faith and family are the 'champions' keeping them on the path to graduate from high school.

Dominic Mooney is working toward his high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. He is studying Retail Warehousing Skills in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence. After graduation, Dominic plans to attend college and is interested in studying robotics or space science. 

 Submitted by Dominic Mooney:A champion is someone who goes above and beyond to reach their goals. When they reach their goals, they are remembered for it. Just like how Jesus was born on Christmas and his life goal was to free people from sin so we would have a way into heaven.There were many times I felt useless and sad, also a little lonely. But every time I pray to Him I feel better and I know He is with me. I love Him with all my heart.The most memorable thing that Jesus did in being my champion was dying on the cross for everyone’s sins, including my own. My champion is Jesus. 

 Patrick McKnight is also working toward his high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. He is studying Animal Science in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence. Patrick nominated his grandfather, Patrick Chamberlain, as his champion. 

 Submitted by Patrick McKnight:My grandfather has always been my shoulder to lean on for support. He has taught me almost everything I know. My grandfather is even teaching me to run his company and hopes I will continue his business when he passes.I can’t imagine life without him. He is my inspiration to do the best I can. I love you, Grandpa.My champion is my grandfather. 

Sharing Student Voices

Dominic and Patrick's reflections were selected submissions from  Who’s Your Champion? community callout. Their stories are 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, Dominic and Patrick, and honoring your personal champions. We are glad you find such strength in the faith and family members you have supporting you! 

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.