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More like this: high schools, career and education.

Why I Go to School

Students share why they go to school as part of the American Graduate project focusing on the high school dropout crisis. If you would like to submit your motivation for why you stay in school, email us at newshourextra@gmail.com. Please include your first name, age, grade in school and brief blurb in addition to your Pin. For teachers, here is a lesson plan to get your classroom involved: to.pbs.org/y1UTsZ Check out our recent reporting: http://to.pbs.org/wv8Wwi

This collage represents why I go to school. I want to be able to afford these things. If I go to college to further my education, then I can afford the things that are in my collage. I love fashion. It's going to be my major in college and my collage represents that. Also, if I finish high school and college my mom will be very proud of me. If I finish high school and college I can prove that I can make it to those who said that I couldn’t. - Deasia, 11th grader via CET Learning Services

I go to school for my little brother. He looks up to me, and I don't want him thinking dropping out of school is OK. After I graduate from high school, I plan on going to college to get a degree in journalism and communications. I enjoy talking to people, and I’m a big question person. I enjoy learning new stuff about people, and I’m a good writer. But mainly, I just want my little brother Isaac to know you can do anything you put your mind to. - Kiedra, 11th grader via CET Learning Services

I go to school to get an education, so that when I get older I can provide a stable life for myself. I go to school to make my mother proud. I go to school to set an example for Destiny, Xaria, John, Naior, Tremiel, Simeon and Si’on. I go to school because in my family we believe in not giving up and every one is a phenomenal person. I go to school to make my family proud. - Shayla, 11th grader via CET Learning Services

I want to have a career in sports administration. I go to school to better myself. I know going to school will lead me into the right direction to having a successful life. I also go to school to make my family proud. I go to school because I’m already on the right path to get my high school diploma. Having my high school and college diploma will allow me to exceed in my career field. - Keenan, 11th grader via CET Learning Services

"I always wanted to make my mother happy, and make her feel as if I'm doing something with my life...And also, I don't want to beg for anything. I don't want to beg for anything. I don't want to rely on anybody to give anything to me. I want to stand up on my own two feet and say I did it myself and say that I didn't need anybody's help," Kiera, Hughes STEM School via CET

I go to school because my mom and dad left their wonderful lives in Haiti for me and my sister. I want to give back to them and say thank you for everything. Every day my dad and I talk about which college I will go to. I really want to be a pediatrician because I love taking care of kids. But if I am not able to do that, I have two other dreams I can follow. I want be a veterinarian or a track star. - Lynda, 8th grader

As a student, I believe that all my teachers have motivated me. Some take the responsibility to make our dreams come true. They seem to prepare us for what is to come so we can reach our goals. With the knowledge that they are giving us, we will build our way up the ladder. - Nathaniel, 12th grader

I choose to stay in school for the sole reason that ever since I was five years old, I have dreamed of flying, specifically fighter jets. Due to the endless technological advancements in aviation, flying requires an enormous amount of education to master the complexity of modern day fighters. Therefore my education is key in order to accomplish my life-long dream of becoming a pilot. - Jake, 10th grader

I need school to do everything. If I don’t graduate, then life will be hard for me. This did not just pop up in my head one day; I got this from an inspirational person: my mom. My mom tells me that school is very important. She also told me that often people just drop out because they have no one to support them. So she told me that she will always believe in me and trust me so that I will never drop out like the others. Thanks mom, so much. - Shynell, 12th grader

I recently went to Honduras to do missionary work and met children of all ages who weren't in school. I met this one four-year-old girl named Ana who truly inspired me. She had the biggest brown eyes and curly brown hair. Her mom said she wouldn't be able to afford to put her in school. How could something so precious not get an education? Coming back from my trip, I've realized that I am lucky. Meeting these children has inspired me to have even more of a drive. - Lauren, 11th grader

Seen in this picture is part of a roller coaster named "Millennium Force" at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. Why does it motivate me to go to school? Well, I plan to attend college to get a degree in mechanical engineering, in hopes that one day, I may design a roller coaster of my own. Then, perhaps I can go back to Cedar Point, get on a ride, and say, "Hey, I made this." - Jonah, 11th grader

The thing that motivates me to go to school is football. I started playing my freshman year in high school, and I was really good at it. During my sophomore year I played varsity & started as a defensive lineman. I also got my first college offer. In my junior year I won all-city, all-state. My second motivation is my parents. My mom & dad have been there for me through the ups & downs. I love them for that I truly do. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be the man I am today. - Raynon, 12th grader

I go to school so I can graduate and go for my dream. I want to do voice overs. The inspiration came from cartoons and anime. It's something that I’ve wondered about for years, but now I’ve realized that it’s a passion of mine. It’s a dream worth going after. -Tobias, 11th grader

By coming to school, I can explore all of the different classes that are offered, and I can see what interests me. Hopefully I will choose something I like, pursue that as a carrier, and get paid doing something I enjoy. That way I’d be able to live a less stressful life and still be able to financially support my family here in America and back home in India. In order for that to happen I need to come to school. - Jasdeep, 11th grader (Photo by Lauren)

Knowing that I'm going to be a mother soon is what motivates me to finish school. I hope to teach my child responsibility, and I hope that my child understands when he/she is older that I graduated to give him/her a better life. I want to be able to get a job to support my child on my own. I want to be able to put my child in a great college. Having my education is very important, and I know in the long run it's going to be worth it. - Devonie, 9th grader

School has not been easy for me, but this little lady in the picture with me will not let me give up. She rides me and checks up on me. She emails teachers and nags. However, she is my mom, and I must do what she says. I know that quitting is not an option! My motivation for staying in school is baseball. If I don’t make the grades...I can not play baseball. My dream is to play in the MLB. In order to do what I want, I must do what needs to be done. - Antonio 9th grader

My life hasn’t been a walk in the park like you see in the movies. I come from a strong family that doesn’t believe in giving up, but in keeping our heads up instead. Out of everybody in my family, the person I’m closest to is my mother. Bringing me into the world at a young age, she’s taught me how to stay strong no matter what life throws at me. Going to school every day, making plans for graduation and being involved at school is the first step to making her proud. - Jesse, 12th grader

My motivation to go to school is my son. I never knew I could love someone as much as I love my little boy. I look at him & I know I have to keep going. I push myself so that I can give him things I couldn’t have when I was young. Statistics show that teen moms are more likely to drop out of school. This also motivates me to keep trying. I want to break the chain & prove to myself, my son, & others that having a baby at a young age doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.- Stephanie, 12th grader

I go to school because I want to be a game developer for Sony Online Entertainment. I go to school so I can lean how to design games and see how they work. I would like to work for a big industry because I have fresh ideas that games are missing. Games are my passion. I play them when I go home. Games are my way of escaping. They let me forget what problems I have. - Julio, 9th grader

  • Mohammed Shafeek

    I used to play games too. Now I am a programmer. I bought for my daughters latest PSP. Still believing the fact games will improve their tacktics

  • Thaisi Da Silva

    Thanks for sharing, Mohammed!

My reason for staying in school is because I want to succeed in life and go to college. The whole purpose is to major in music and become a musician and maybe a music teacher. Music is the only thing that motivates me to stay in school and continue to learn. Well that and my mom motivates me to always try my best at everything I do. Success in school is a major key for me to become what I want. - Tremeec, 10th grader

The reason why I go to school is so that I will have opportunities. Education does play a huge role in my life because I like to learn and develop new skills. To me, you can never learn too much in the world. It grows so much each day and everyday there are changes. I like to learn about them. I want to make my family proud. When I graduate, it will show them that I was worked very hard during my four years of high school, and I had set high expectations for myself. - Aubrey, 12th grader

Aubrey Marie Troutman, my 3-month-old daughter, is the reason I come to school. I’m trying to be her motivation. I don’t want her to have a reason not to finish school or have a reason to say “But you didn’t go to school, so why do I have to go to school...” I want her to know that when you finish school you can get much further in life and have more opportunities in life. If I finish school for her, she’ll have a reason to want to finish school. - Diana, 12th grader

I go to school to because I want to become a preacher, pastor or whatever you prefer to call it. While I could just stay at home and read the Bible to be one, I want to understand it. I also want to go on missionary trips, so learning a new language is a good skill to have. The reason I want to be a preacher is because my grandfather is one, and he is one of the smartest people I know. There are many places I can go as a preacher and things I can do. - Ben, 8th grader

I want to be a vet when I grow up. I love animals and they're really fun to play with. I have two dogs and one hamster. - Alysia, 5th grader

  • Emily Haynes

    I have 3 dogs and 2 guinea pigs and had tons of fish and frogs my goal is to be a exotic vet

I go to school because I want to be a systems engineer and have a better future in which I could be independent. At the same time, I want to make a difference among my family. My uncle is the only one that has graduated from college. I want to be the next. - Gunther, 12th grader