PLANADA — UC Merced students will finish where they started at César E. Chávez Middle School in Planada today.
However, the work has really just started for Merced County Project 10%.
Project 10% is a first-of-its-kind initiative to put a UC Merced student into every middle school to discuss the importance of high school graduation. The goal is to decrease the high school dropout rate by 10 percent.
More than 3,000 middle school students have heard the presentation since the program began two years ago.
Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II and Merced County Superintendent of Schools Steve E. Gomes, along with other community leaders, met with UC Merced students to create the project.
The program uses volunteer UC Merced students, many of whom have come from challenging backgrounds, to speak directly to middle school students about their personal experiences, the importance of high school graduation and how they were able to make the choices that enabled them to gain admission to a UC campus.
UC students will speak to the middle school students from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.