Failing High Schoolers Get a Dose of Reality

A new program in Hawaii high schools shows students what their life could be like if they don’t improve their grades.
by | March 21, 2011 AT 3:57 PM

 If A Christmas Carol taught readers or movie watchers anything, it showed that sometimes people need to see what their actions might lead to in order to change their ways. With this line of thinking in mind, the pilot program Fresh Start in Waipahu, Hawaii takes high school freshmen in danger of failing to speak with homeless people and inmates. The program's purpose isn't to scare students but to show them that those living on the streets and those locked in cells are no different from themselves, organizers told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.  In addition to field trips, Fresh Start actively involves parents and offers tutoring and counseling sessions, as well as cash incentives to get good grades. According to parents and counselors who spoke to the Star-Advertiser's reporter, students are already starting to show signs of improvement and changes in attitude. Fresh Start is partially funded by a federal program aimed at helping students go to college, but hopes to attain long-term funding and expand to more schools.