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PBS & Colorado Public Television: American Graduate Project

Case Studies

PBS & Colorado Public Television: American Graduate Project

Emily Paulos

The school dropout rate among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth is nearly three times the national average. With support from Colorado Public Television (CPT12) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the American Graduate Project aims to re-engage Denver, CO LGBTQ youth in school, through a combination of the multi-media effort "Drop in Denver," community conversation, and the provision of individual guidance to LGBTQ youth.

StoryCenter built on previous collaborations with CPT12 to support this important project. We led a three-day digital storytelling workshop with eight students, in cooperation with the schools and programs they had "dropped back into." Project partners such as Colorado Youth for a Change and G.O.A.L. Academy dedicated themselves to carpooling students into and home from the workshop.

The work on the videos, available on CPT12's American Graduate channel and created in partnership with StoryCenter, provided the young people with media skills valuable to workplace settings, along with storytelling skills, confidence building activities, and an understanding of the importance of education. A Town Hall featured the eight teens who created stories, and a panel of experts, including teachers, parents, and legislators who spoke about the issues raised in the short films. View "Solid Ground" by Ale Basquez, below. Ale presented this story at a TED talk sponsored by CPT12 and received a scholarship for college.