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Diplomas Count: Six of 12.1 Million Stories

From guest blogger Jaclyn Zubrzycki

As Lesli Maxwell informed you earlier, Education Week's 2012 Diplomas Count report, focusing on Latino students, went live earlier today. The report features new research and reporting about how the 12.1 million students who identify as Latino are faring in states around the country, and why it matters.

Of course, this population of students is anything but a monolithic block. In a collection of six "heritage profiles," we set out to put some faces to the numbers by sharing the stories of students who represent the six largest Hispanic heritage groups in the United States: Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Cuba.

We didn't—and couldn't—capture every nuance of Latino students' experiences through these profiles. All but one of these teenagers are immigrants, and all but one have been continuously enrolled in school, for instance. Most live in or near urban centers. There are young people whose stories are very different than any of these. But the stories of Marlyn, Roger, Adiel, Luis, Alisa, and Lisbet highlight the incredible diversity of this fast-growing population. These are tales of separation and reunion, of ordinary teenager-dom, of miraculous feats of language-learning, and of bold ambitions.

Before you go, take a moment to watch Roger Sanchez, the Dominican student profiled in the report, discuss his dreams and experiences on an ordinary day in a District of Columbia high school, in this video shot and edited by Education Week's own Megan Garner:

Check out the profiles and the rest of the report, and let us know what you think—and perhaps share the story of a student you know!

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