Every year, millions of students don their caps and gowns and cross the stage, putting them on a path to college, a career and young adulthood. For some, it’s the completion of a remarkable journey. They have beaten the odds and overcome incredible barriers including poverty, homelessness, gang violence, unstable home lives, the loss of loved ones or life-threatening medical conditions. The academic accomplishment of these students is the main reason the United States is now celebrating an unprecedented 81 percent high school graduation rate.
In celebration of their achievements, The Root is partnering with Communities In Schools, which supported these striving scholars, athletes, artists and citizens, to shine on a spotlight on their accomplishments in this online slideshow.