A nonprofit founded in 1992

WTVI Charlotte: "American Graduate Day 2014" Event Celebrates the "Stories of Champions" – Individuals and Organizations Committed to Improving Outcomes for Youth and Raising Graduation Rates

CHARLOTTE, NC - September 27, 2014 - American Graduate Day 2014 returns this fall for its third consecutive year. Wes Moore, best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran, will host the all-day broadcast which premieres Saturday, September 27, from 11 am - 5:30 pm EST, on public media WTVI PBS Charlotte. American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen is helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations. Featuring 6 hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances, American Graduate Day 2014 will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are American Graduate Champions: those helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes.

As part of the community outreach, WTVI will profile three local "Champions" that are making a difference in our community to improve the graduation rate:

Raukell Robinson with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)

James Ford - North Carolina Teacher of the Year and Garinger High History Teacher

Mary Nell McPherson - Executive Director, Freedom School Partners

"Every child deserves a quality education and an opportunity for success," said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). "The high school graduation numbers are moving in the right direction because people have stepped up as champions for students on behalf of their communities, committed to improving outcomes for all of our nation's youth. On American Graduate Day, local public media stations will be celebrating the inspirational stories that are contributing to the progress our nation is making in addressing the dropout crisis."

American Graduate Day 2014 will be anchored by "Stories of Champions," a series of 14 one-minute profile pieces scheduled to air every half-hour, which will spotlight individuals and influential figures in local communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation.

"American Graduate Day demonstrates the impact that public media can have when we work with others to address an essential issue. "This gives us an opportunity to highlight the incredible individuals and organizations and to present their inspiring stories that focus on graduation improvement", states WTVI's Beverly Dorn-Steele, project director.

Viewers and online users who are interested in connecting with local organizations and youth as American Graduate Champions can send a text on the day of broadcast or log on to AmericanGraduate.org to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns. Viewers will also be invited to participate in the discussion via Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook.

American Graduate Day is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen - a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help more kids stay on the path to graduation.

Visit the American Graduate Web site for more details on participating PBS stations as well as other television and radio programs: http://americangraduate.org/american-graduate-day-2014.