Weber seeks support for struggling students during “Graduation Matters” week


Mackenzie George, Editor in Cheif

Emily Weber didn’t need the yellow silhouettes of students that lined the Commons during Graduation Matters week — one for each senior who dropped out this year — to remind her of the importance of graduating. The senior, who was recently named one of GFPS Distinguished Scholars,  hopes to major in Environmental or Wildlife Biology in college, which certainly rules out dropping out.

“It’d be really hard to get into a job and have that knowledge of science without going to high school and then going to college,” Weber said. “I’m in AP Bio right now, which is preparing me for that kind of degree.”

However, she understands the challenges that some high school students face each day. Many who drop out, Weber explained, deal with much more immediate problems than earning a diploma.

“It might be due to hunger, or [if] they don’t have a home they’re not really concentrated on school,” Weber said. “They’re concentrating more on their home life — like if they need to find a meal, or if they don’t know where they’re living.”

She cited the blistering cold winter as another problem that many high schoolers don’t consider, but one that affects many other students.

Weber said the school needs to continue to help these students so they are able to focus on the importance of graduation instead of worrying about these basic needs.

“Supporting the food pantry, spreading awareness, and donating — and making sure that the kids who are homeless or who are [from] low income families know that they’re supported,” she said.

“[Graduation matters] because it helps you later in life,” Weber said. “Not just with getting a job but also knowledge and the outside world and building relationships.”