This year, nine students of African-American heritage graduated from the prestigious East High IB Program, an unofficial record. Typically, the competitive college preparatory program graduates one or two students of color. This year is definitely an exception. 

Gwen Duggins, who’s son is among the graduates, says she credits the more inclusive class to a special outreach into the community four years ago. That year, the district made a special outreach effort into the community, even holding recruiting and awareness meetings at community churches.

“If you want diversity, you have to go where the people are,” says Duggins who advises parents with talented students to consider the program as an option for their child. “The benefits are incredible. The students learn time management and coping skills that help them prepare for college and for life.”

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