In South Los Angeles, forty percent of high school students drop out, unless they are lucky enough to go to Verbum Dei. Verbum Dei High School is an all boys, Catholic school in the heart of South Central. The student body is 50 percent Latino and 50 percent African American and all of the students live in South Los Angeles, a region infamous for gang warfare and poverty.
The young men who attend Verbum Dei pay for their education. Each student works one day during the school week to supplement their tuition. School administrators say it gives them the opportunity to experience the world outside of South Central and take more pride in their education. As I reported on the show this morning, the program seems to be working; every single Verbum Dei student graduates and goes on to college.
Click on the video below to see Verbum Dei student Ramon Quevedo take us through his typical work day. And then let us know how you feel about putting kids to work during the school week. Is it a good idea?
For more on this story, and some other interesting stuff about education, and more, visit our friends at KCET's SoCal Connected.