Restoring the American Dream

As the country works toward reaching a 90 percent on-time national graduation rate by the Class of 2020, join us as we explore and celebrate what Ballou students have accomplished in the face of systemic challenges and learn more about their personal journey of perseverance. Speakers will discuss barriers that prevent schools from ensuring more students obtain a diploma as well as best practices for keeping more students on track to high school graduation and post-secondary success.

Opportunity Nation: Restoring the American Dream Series
Thursday, June 15 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Ballou High School Auditorium
Washington, DC

Opportunity Nation: Restoring the American Dream Series

Opportunity Nation, America’s Promise Alliance and Urban Alliance invite you to:

Restoring the American Dream: 
What One High School’s Success Can Teach Us About Empowering Students

Nationally, the on-time high school graduation rate has risen to 83.2 percent – an encouraging trend that has contributed to higher Opportunity Scores. But with one million students failing to graduate each year, the U.S. continues to lose too many students along the way. Particularly troubling are communities where just 50 to 60 percent of students graduate each year. In these cases, whole communities are precluded from economic advancement.

Ballou High School in Washington, DC led efforts that put more students on the path to success, inspiring an entire community, and the nation. It’s entire graduating class of 2017 -- 190 seniors -- successfully applied to college this year, an amazing feat for a school that has struggled for many years. 

As the country works toward reaching a 90 percent on-time national graduation rate by the Class of 2020, join us as we explore and celebrate what Ballou students have accomplished in the face of systemic challenges and learn more about their personal journey of perseverance. Speakers will discuss barriers that prevent schools from ensuring more students obtain a diploma as well as best practices for keeping more students on track to high school graduation and post-secondary success.

This event is the fourth in a series of conversations on Restoring the American Dream led by Opportunity Nation.

What you’ll hear:  

  • A panel of Ballou staff and local city leaders, who will speak about how they are turning around their schools
  • Youth voices on their personal journey to high school graduation and beyond
  • One parent's perspective on the power of caring adults
  • A discussion with national leaders about barriers to moving beyond high school and how organizations and communities can help scale up solutions

Key Speakers

  • Melanie Anderson, Director of Government and External Affairs, Opportunity Nation
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser, Washington, DC
  • Nathaniel Cole, Executive Director, Urban Alliance, Washington, DC
  • Jennifer DePaoli, Senior Research and Policy Advisor, Civic Enterprises
  • John Gomperts, President & CEO, America's Promise Alliance
  • Eugene Pinkard, Jr, Deputy Chief, School Turnaround and Performance, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Dr. Yetunde Reeves, Principal, Ballou High School
  • Monique Rizer, Executive Director, Opportunity Nation
  • Eshauna Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Alliance
  • Shamele Straughter, Assistant Principal, RTI and Class of 2017, Ballou High School
Getting there

Ballou High School is located at 3401 4th Street SE, Washington, DC.

The event will take place in the auditorium. Use the main entrance by the parking lot and allow a few extra minutes to go through security upon entering the building.

By Car
We recommend ride-sharing, as parking is limited in the school’s parking lot and on the street.

By Public Transportation
Take Metro’s Green Line to the Congress Heights Station.

From there it will be about a mile walk to the school (15-20 minutes). You can also take the W1 Fort Drum bus to the school from here. Check wmata.com for schedules and updates.

 

Join the conversation with #OurOppNation & #GradNation

 

Event Partners

Opportunity Nation
America's Promise Alliance
Urban Alliance