Find Your United Way Donate
Press Release

United Way Celebrates America’s Record High School Graduation Rate of 83.2%

Alexandria, VA October 19, 2016: United Way celebrates the record 83.2 % high school graduation rate as reported Monday by President Obama. For over 125 years, United Way has been committed to community building, starting at the foundational level of education for all children. United Way works in partnership with schools, districts, communities, policymakers and business partners. United Way’s education work involves community based, multi-pronged approaches that combine the most critical supports and services for students and their families.

United Way believes that children deserve a strong start in life and works to make that possible by empowering parents to support their children, improving the quality of their learning environments, and offering solutions to challenges outside the classroom. Examples of United Way Worldwide’s commitment to childhood and youth success are contained in United Way Worldwide’s Annual Report.  Some examples of that work: 

  • Turn Around High Schools.  United Way of Southeastern Michigan is in the process of transitioning this work to focus more on school-to-career pipeline, but for several years the United Way partnered with AT&T and GM to focus on high school turn-around efforts: Network One and GM Network of Excellence.  Their goal is to improve the 30 low-performing high schools in Detroit that graduate less than 60 percent of entering freshmen classes four years later. Schools apply to participate in a “Turn-Around Challenge” where they commit to achieving a high school graduation rate of 80 percent or better. 
  • Destination Graduation. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is engaged in four districts (Dallas, Irving, Mesquite and Plano) and provides support to students at-risk of dropout to help them graduate on time and persist to post-secondary: this includes SAT prep, mentoring, parent engagement, and career exploration.  Their work has been validated as improving student graduation and promotion rates, and closing the achievement gap. https://unitedwaydallas.org/stories/eduardos-story-destination-graduation-brightens-students-future/.
  • Alignment Jackson. United Way of the Capital Area is leading a collective impact effort to increase high school graduation rates in Jackson, Mississippi. http://www.myunitedway.com/education.html

 “United Way goes beyond single-issue solutions and temporary fixes. Our global impact strategy focuses on engaging our corporate partners to ensure children get a strong start in school, youth earn the credentials they need to thrive in the job market, and people of all ages have an opportunity to improve their economic status and live a healthy life,” said Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “By ensuring that everyone has access to these building blocks of life, we strengthen all facets of society – empowering individuals and communities through holistic solutions.”


About United Way Worldwide

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.8 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide, and more than $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

Media Contact

To schedule an interview with United Way Worldwide President, Brian Gallagher, please contact: Southerlyn Worsham, Southerlyn.Worsham@uww.unitedway.org