Spotlight: High School Graduation

A high school diploma is a critical milestone on the path to a post-secondary degree and/or a self-sustaining career. 

May 2019 – United Way’s Steps to Success framework focuses on nine critical milestones on the path to prosperity. This month, as high schools across the region host graduation ceremonies, we invite you to learn more about the High School Graduation Step.

Whether you are headed to college, pursuing a credential or beginning your career, a high school diploma is essential. High school graduates have a higher earning potential, contribute more to our local economy and are more engaged in the community.

Supported Agencies

Hear from leaders at our funded agencies that support the High School Graduation Step.


Local Spotlight

We talked to Tye’aja Friend, a recent high school graduate and former United Way intern, about her experience and the challenges she faced on the path to graduation. Read more.

Program Spotlight

Learn about our Petersburg Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, which has contributed to a significant decline in teen pregnancies since 2009.

Staff Insights

What makes high school graduation so important? What is United Way doing to support students, schools and communities? Learn more in our four-part series covering everything from pre-K to high school graduation!

Understanding Chronic Absenteeism

Too many high school students miss a significant amount of school days during the school year, which negatively impacts their chances of graduating. This is known as chronic absenteeism. Learn more about this important issue and what you can do to help.

By The Numbers

Our new online data hub tracks data related to high school graduation. Indicators include on-time high school graduation, dropout rate, chronic absenteeism and juvenile crime. Learn more and see how our region is doing.