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High School Dropouts Find Their Own Paths to College

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While 2 out of 3 teenagers graduate from high school in the spring and enter a four-year college in the fall, 1 in 20 leaves school without a diploma, according to the most-recent federal data. But in time, nearly half of them find their way back to a classroom.

As a teen, Diana Campos dropped out of high school in Chicago to dance and teach her way through Japan, Germany, Mexico and New York City for over a decade.

“I felt like I wasn’t going to need an education,” Campos says. “I don’t know why I convinced myself of that.”

Years later, Campos changed her mind. The first step, a high school equivalency exam, put her on more equal footing with former classmates. Yet she was reluctant to follow their path to a four-year college.


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