It was indeed a historical day for all parents, faculty, administrators, the District of Columbia Public Schools, and of course, Ballou Class of 2017! All 170 students, who had their graduation on Tuesday, June 13th, had something more to celebrate than just completing high school. Each student who crossed the podium with their cap and gowns received at least one college acceptance. In fact, this historical achievement is a first for this Southeast, D.C. public school.
Despite its recent success, life at school was not always smooth. Last year, only 3% of Ballou students qualified for reading standards in city-wide testing. On top of that, the school was surrounded by poverty and violence.
To add fuel to the fire, Washington Post cited that the school had the second lowest public high school graduation rate. More so, since August of last year, it was reported that nearly 200 public school faculty members quit their jobs; as a result, Ballou lost a quarter of its staff.
Through the thick and thin, this year’s class decided to help the staff in making their dreams a reality. Every student applied to college and was accepted. Some notable institutions that students were accepted to were Penn State, Virginia State, and Florida’s Bethune Cookman University.