An entirely different atmosphere, different methods of learning


Path To Graduation: Journey To Success

Written and Produced By:
Corey Hoover, Grade 12, Class of 2016; and
Joey Usma, Graduate, Class of October 2015

In Partnership With:
High School Learning Center at Corning Community College; and
Corning- Painted Post Area School District

The national high school graduation rate is 81% according to the 2015 Building a Grad Nation Report. In New York State, the average graduation rate is lower at 77%. One way to increase the number of students who successfully reach graduation is through alternative high schools.

teen boy with upstate grad sign

Corey Hoover, Youth Voice Student Producer

Alternative high schools are an educational option that allow students to work in an entirely different atmosphere, with different methods of learning.

“The regular high school is different because the teachers there, they just want the students to pass, they want them to get A’s on their tests,” explains Joey. “[Teachers] don’t really focus on each student individually and give them the time that I feel that each student needs in order to succeed.”

Some students may face struggles in the traditional high school setting, which can cause their learning, their grades, and their motivation to suffer.

teen boy holding american graduate sign

Joey Usma, Youth Voice Student Producer

“It was my senior year and I was losing motivation for school. I would wake up late and an hour would turn into three hours and I wouldn’t want to go at all,” confessed Joey. “So I asked my principal, Mr. Barber at Corning High School, What other options do I have? He told me you can go to the High School Learning Center up at Corning Community College. It’s a program for students to get their diploma but it’s more one-on-one. The teachers really care for the students. It’s not about just passing the tests. It’s really about the growth of the student and how much they can succeed.”

Many students find themselves growing, both personally and academically at alternative high schools. For the first time in their school careers, students have positive experiences in school and can see themselves heading down a path to success!

“I’m more motivated now. I’m excited for school everyday. I know when I come to school, the things I’m learning I’m actually going to take on with me in the future,” says Joey. “The relationship with the teachers is a strong one. We’re all like a family here. They care about every student and they really want us to graduate and move on with our life.”



This video was scripted, voiced, recorded and edited by student producers, Corey Hoover and Joey Usma. In partnership with the High School Learning Center, students explore their personal path to graduation while learning production skills from WSKG’s youth media curriculum.


American Graduate

American Graduate is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.