L.A. School Helps Kids By Forcing Them To Work South Central Los Angeles has a nearly 50 percent dropout rate. At Verbum Dei High School, they're trying a new approach: requiring students to work part-time. The program seems to be working; in past years, every single student has gone on to college.
NPR logo

L.A. School Helps Kids By Forcing Them To Work

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/98392058/98392039" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
L.A. School Helps Kids By Forcing Them To Work

L.A. School Helps Kids By Forcing Them To Work

L.A. School Helps Kids By Forcing Them To Work

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/98392058/98392039" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In South Los Angeles, nearly one half of all high school students drop out before graduation day. At Verbum Dei it's a different story — in part due to the Catholic school's unusual strategy. The young men who attend are required to supplement their tuition by working one day a week.

School administrators say it helps students take more pride in their education. The program seems to be working; in past years, every single Verbum Dei student has gone on to college.

We follow around student Ramon Quevedo to see how the program has helped him transform his life.