St. Louisans Recognized at National Summit in Washington, D.C., for Their Role in American Graduate Initiative Under Leadership of Nine Network

Posted by Dale Fisher on

St. Louis, MO — February 27, 2015 — This week the 2015 Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) Public Media Summit in Washington, D.C., recognized St. Louis Public Schools dropout recruiter Charles Bean and student Malik Avery for their influential role in the American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen initiative being led locally and nationally by the Nine Network of Public Media.

American Graduate is a public media initiative involving 80 public television and radio stations and more than 1,400 community partners in 30 states across America. Locally, more than 50 community partners are working with the Nine Network. The goal of the initiative is to improve educational outcomes for all children and to achieve a national graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020.

An important aspect of the initiative is to identify actionable solutions to prevalent challenges, such the absence of caring, consistent adults in the lives of far too many children. The American Graduate initiative and its American Graduate Champion campaign assert that every child needs and deserves a champion and that every adult can be a champion in one child’s life.

The Nine Network honored Bean and Avery at the APTS Public Media Summit as individuals who exemplify the impact of an American Graduate Champion. They were honored before an audience of over 300 leaders from public media. Bean has helped more than 150 students return to school and receive diplomas. Bean and Avery first shared the story of their “champion” relationship during the Nine Network broadcast American Graduate Community Town Hall in 2013. Their story continues to inspire other adults to become American Graduate Champions.

“The Nine Network is thrilled to work with our network of partners to help our community work together to help all young people stay on the path to high school graduation and success in life,” said Nice Network Senior Vice President, Community Engagement Amy Shaw. “It takes all of us to champion the needs of our young people.”

The Nine Network of Public Media has been leading the local and national American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen initiative since 2011, serving as executive producer and directing national activities while continuing local American Graduate efforts across the St. Louis region.

American Graduate is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About the Nine Network of Public Media

The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life, including four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine Kids), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, www.nineNet.org and the Public Media Commons. The Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our mission of bringing St. Louis together as we connect our region to the world and the world to St. Louis.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

For More Information Contact:

Matt Huelskamp
Director of Marketing and Communications
(314) 512-9117
mhuelskamp@ketc.org