While high school students enjoyed the final day of summer break, dozens of volunteers with the Boston Public Schools Re-Engagement Center (REC) fanned out to visit students who were chronically absent last year or left high school before graduating to try to get them to restart their education. Established as a partnership between Boston Public Schools and the city’s workforce development board in 2006, the REC set out to bring students back to school while they were still entitled to a free public education. Over the past decade, the Boston REC has helped nearly 5,000 students, and Boston Public Schools’ four-year graduation rate has risen from 59% in 2006 to 81% in 2022. Lack of a high school diploma is one of the strongest predictors that a young person will struggle to find economic stability throughout their 20s, researchers have found.

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