While high school students enjoyed the final day of summer break, dozens of volunteers with the Boston Public Schools Re-Engagement Center 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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