About the Initiative

The GradNation Communities Network is a vibrant learning community of local collaborations and collective impact efforts that are on the front lines helping young people succeed in school, work and life. They are part of an initiative launched in September 2011 to recognize and support communities for their efforts to help the nation reach the GradNation goal.

We have reason to be optimistic. Graduation rates are rising. We know what to do, and we know where to focus. GradNation is a large and growing movement of dedicated organizations, individuals and communities working to end America’s dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. Your community’s involvement in this movement can help end the dropout crisis. 

To join the GradNation Communities Network, communities commit to:

  • GradNation goal to increase the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020, with no school in the community’s target area having a graduation rate below 80 percent
  • Engage cross-sector stakeholders to collaborate in increasing local graduation rates
  • Share best practices and strategies 

The communities in this network receive a variety of supports, including national visibility, access to knowledge and communication tools, professional development, technical assistance, funding opportunities when available and opportunities for networking with other communities and America’s Promise Alliance Partners.

How Communities Make a Difference

First, the good news: the national high school graduation rate is increasing at an accelerated pace, with the current rate standing at 80 percent. However, too many students are leaving high school without obtaining a diploma, which represents a lost opportunity to them and a hit to our economy and communities.

Communities are playing a vital role in bringing together people from all sectors to create and sustain collective efforts to end the dropout crisis. Schools cannot do this work alone. Research has demonstrated that cross-sector collaboration is critical to delivering the support that leads to higher graduation rates and improved readiness for college and work.

In communities across the country, collaborations consisting of schools, local government leaders, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based organizations, parents, and young people are working together to ensure that all young people have the supports necessary to succeed in high school and beyond.

Community Testimonials

“America's Promise has been an amazing resource for this town! You have come up with supports for just about every gap we've been trying to negotiate.”  - Richmond, CA

“The GradNation Communities convenings offer the opportunity to interact with other communities that are doing work similar to the initiatives we are implementing for the children in East Durham. This is an invaluable way to learn best practices and hear solutions to the challenges currently facing my community.”  - Durham, NC

“[The GradNation Community] Summit has motivated decision-makers in Charlotte and across the state. Thank you to America's Promise for making the Summit possible!” - Charlotte, NC