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Locke High Promise To Graduate

Los Angeles, CA

The students at Alan Leroy Locke High School, in Los Angeles, CA aren't interested in hearing the statistics about students who drop out of high school. They are a community of graduates, and thanks to a partnership between Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and Get schooled, everyone knows it! 

 

Check out this awesome video of Locke students and staff who made the Promise to Graduate from high school. There are also a few inspirational words to help you fully understand that these students are on a mission to graduate, go to college and change the world! 

 

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Fall 2013 Challenges in Photos

College, Attendance and Promise Challenges

What was it like to be in a Get Schooled Challenge this past fall? Crazy!! We had a blast helping students across the country get active online and compete with their schools in the Attendance, College and Promise Challenges. 

 

More than 200,000 students logged on, earned points and got schooled this fall. Here are just a few of the photos we've received from Challenge schools. Don't see your school represented? Send us some pictures and we'll add you too! Congratulations again to all of the students who participated. You are rock stars in our books!

 

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Hip Hop ACT Finalist Round Two

Meet Breya and Hannah

You guys kept the dope rhymes and sweet word play coming during the Hip Hop ACT round two competition. We had more submissions, more school representation and more creativity than ever before. Get to know our top rappers from round two!

 

Although she is not big into perferming her rhymes, Breya, a freshman at Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, MD, is not shy about showing off her writing skills. With Nicki Minaj as her rap muse, it's no surprise she finished in the top for the Hip Hop ACT round two! Big ups to Breya for this sweet entry. She received a pair of Monster DNA headphones for her hard work!.Check out her rhyme here!

 

I wouldn't call it adulation
I just want to collaborate
Not everything is about looks
I just want to conversate

I know you're intuitive
And it's just your nature
But looks can be deceiving
You know my title, not my stature

If I tell you my past
It'll hold a tenacious grip on your memory
So please let's just stay associates
Because you know my name ... not my story

Another finalist who caught our eye was Hannah, reppin' the class of 2015 from Berwick High School in Berwick, Louisiana! She thought the whole concept of Hip Hop ACT was great because "it helps us as high schoolers express our creativity in a modern fashion, as well as find new ways to use new words." 

Just like her favorite rapper Eminem, Hannah is happy to come out on top. And she'll probably enjoy listening to Eminem's new album with her brand new Monster DNA headphones! You can watch Hannah perform her winning rhyme here!

 

 

Congratulations to all the students who entered! You found super creative ways to use our ACT words. You are totally going to rock the ACTs! 

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Post Your Swag

During the Challenges, we asked you guys to show us your swag! You sent us pictures of your tees, posters and rewards store purchases! Because you look so good in your photos, we wanted to give you a little extra shine!

 

Check out your fellow Get Schooled friends in our Post Your Swag slideshow! There is still time for you to make it in! Just post a picture of yourself with your Get Schooled swag and tag it #getschooled on Twitter or Instagram!

 

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Tweet Your Check In Winners

Meet Ahmed, Sarahi, Brianna, and Tatitana

Over Thanksgiving we asked you to check in at your favorite places and tweet about it for our Tweet Your Check In contest. We selected a few lucky students in the Get Schooled crew. Learn more about these amazing students!

 

Congratulations to Brianna, Ahmed, Sahari and Tatiana for being the proud new owners of a sweet pair of Monster DNA headphones! 

Ahmed King

Ahmed is a student at Zebulon B. Vance High School. He plans on going to North Carolina State University to study in Computer Science and to participate in the Air Force ROTC. After graduating, he wants to pursue his dream career in the United States Air Force. Ahmed says he loves how Get Schooled rewards students. “It’s a win-win and every time I log on I learn more about how to better my future and win in the process!” Ahmed will enjoy listening to his favorite artist Drake in his brand Monster DNA Headphones.

Sarahi Calderon

Los Angeles International Charter High School student, Sarahi, has big goals for her life after high school! She wants to go to either, California State University, San Jose or California State University, Northridge. She plans on majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Business. She wants to enter into the Criminal Justice field after to graduating. She even wants to own her restaurant! Her favorite things about Get Schooled were the Challenges and Mind Games. Sarahi can’t decide if Adele or Justin Timberlake is her favorite artist. With her new Monster DNA Headphones, both Adele and Justin will sound amazing!

Brianna Brown-Richardson

Brianna from Nuview Bridge Early College High School enjoys playing Mind Games on Get Schooled. “The questions are always so interesting,” says Brianna. Brianna wants to study Computer Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona.  After graduating she wants to become a Computer Software Engineer. On her down time, Brianna loves listening to Drake. “I feel a connection through his music,” she says. We hope your new headphones will connect your more to Drake’s music!

Tatiana Reed

Tatiana is currently a student at Ripley High School. Tatiana’s favorite part about being on Get Schooled is that “it motivates me every day to do better and inspires me to go to college.” She wants to attend Tennessee State University to study nursing. Tatiana listens to all types of music. She’ll be rocking out in style to all her music in her new Monster DNA Headphones!

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Meet Kimya, 100,000th Promise Maker

Emerson School of Hospitality

For Kimya, the decision to Make the Promise to graduate from high school was just a formality. But that simple act of public declaration turned out to be a major milestone! Meet Kimya, the 100,000th promise maker with Get Schooled!

 

"Making the promise encourages me to take control of my educaiton," said Kimya, a student at Emerson School of Hospitality, in Buffalo, NY. "I see it as taking a step to do what is best for me, and my career choices depend on my education!"

Kimya is right. Over the next ten years, the majority of the careers available will require some level of education beyond high school. As an aspiring world-class chef and restauranteer, she knows college is in her future. And for those who don't quite see the value of a high school diploma, she offers this advice.

"Staying in school will help you figure out what career you want and help you take the steps necessary to make it happen." she said.

Now that Kimya is a member of the Get Schooled crew, she continues to stay active on the website. She enjoyes earning points through Check In and recognizing the teachers who inspire her to strive for greatness. 

As the 100,000th promise maker, Kimya received a PS Vita, Get Schooled tee and backpack. Congratulations Kimya and continue to strive for excellence! We look forward to hearing all about your restaurant one day! 

 

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Meet Jonell, First Grad 4 Mas Promise Maker

Hutch Tech High, Buffalo, NY

How cool is it to be the very first person to Make the Promise to graduate from high school? For Jonell, it is pretty cool to have the recognition from Taco Bell Foundation For Teens, Get Schooled and her school! Read more about this awesome student!

 

It didn't take much to convince Jonell, a senior at Hutch Tech High in Buffalo, NY, to Make the Promise to graduate from high school. She was already planning for college.

"I'm close to graduation and my goal is to go to college for criminal justice or criminology," she told us. "Making the Promise was a public step to help me commit to my future."

With plans to attend Syracuse University in the fall, we have no doubt that Jonell has a bright future ahead of her. But she wants other students like herself to know they also have a lot to look forward to  when they graduate from high school. 

"If you drop out, you have limited options," she cautions. "It'll put a struggle on anything you're trying to do in the future. It's hard enough for adults now with just a high school diploma to get into a career. It will be even harder when it's our turn. You have to graduate from high school to even have a chance." 

Considering a 2013 report from the Center for Education and the Workforce saying most of the 55 million jobs created over the next six years will require some type of post-secondary education, we could not agree with Jonell more! Education is the key to future success. 

At Get Schooled, we love to reward our students' success and today we congratulate Jonell for being the first student to Make the Promise to graduate high school. That number has now grown to more than 100,000 students and that's definitely worth celebrating! Enjoy your awesome swag bag on us! 

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Hip Hop ACT Finalist Round One

Meet Spencer and Darrell

Hip Hop is known for fierce battles, dope rhymes and the clever use of words. During the Hip Hop ACT contest, you guys showed us that you’re true hip hop heads and super creative!  Read about the winners!
 
Get Schooled, along with the Tupac Shakur Foundation and Monster DNA Headphones are happy to congratulate Spencer R. of Jurupa Valley High School in Jurupa Valley, CA., and Darrell H. of Manor High in Manor, TX, on their big win!
 
What made these two MCs stand out was their clever, and accurate, use of the selected vocabulary words: Loquacious, Colloquial, Boisterous and Quagmire. As the first round winners, both Spencer and Darrell were asked to perform their pieces for everyone to enjoy. So take a few minutes to learn about these two awesome students and watch them perform their winning rhymes. Again, congratulations to Spencer and Darrell! 
 
Spencer is a junior at Jurupa Valley High and is actively participating with his school in the Grad 4 Mas Attendance Challenge. He drew inspiration from his favorite rap artist Shofu, and the dictionary, when he crafted his winning rap. He said the best part about participating in the Hip Hop ACT contest was expanding his vocabulary. From now on, he can blast his favorite tunes in his brand new white and grey Monster DNA headphones! Check out his Get Schooled rap debut! 
 

 
Darrell is a senior at Manor High and is also a part of the Grad 4 Mas Attendance Challenge. He really enjoyed getting to show off his talent during the contest. As a winner, he can enjoy listening to his favorite hip hop artist, Dumbfounded, with his sweet yellow and orange Monster DNA headphones. And you guys can enjoy watching him perform for the first time right now! 
 

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Get Schooled Goes to the HALO Awards

With Chantay and Aryanna of Sacramento Charter High!

What is it like to win a trip to Los Angeles to attend the Teen Nick HALO Awards hosted by Nick Cannon? Sacramento Charter High Get Schooled Ambassadors Chantay and Aryanna know! Check out their take on the whirlwind weekend to Hollywood!

 

"Winning was amazing," said Aryanna Lewis. "They told us at school that we won and we were like, 'that's unbelievable!''

Once they got over the shock of coming in first place the girls got ready for their trip to Los Angeles. They flew down Sunday morning and checked into The W Hotel where all the guest celebrities for the HALO Awards were staying! The HALO Awards after party was even held in their hotel lobby!

The HALO Awards recognizes teens who serve and lead in their schools and communities. After walking the infamous Orange Carpet, both Chantay and Aryanna took their seats to celebrate with the honorees, Miranda Fuentes, Zachary Kerr, Rocio Ortega and Denzel Thompson,  and enjoy the performances and speeches by celebrities such as Kevin Jonas, Austin Mahone, Chloe Bennet and more.

After hanging out at the HALO Awards, the girls enjoyed a campus tour of both the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). They were able to check out the campus and interact with current students as well as other potential students like themselves.

"College visits are really important because it allows you to get a feel for the school and really see what it would be like to live there," said Chantay. "I would advise you to go to visit the school you really dream about to make sure it's the best for you."

Aryanna agreed, adding "I never really thought about applying to USC but now that I've taken the tour I really think this school could be for me." The great journalism program really caught her attention during her campus visit. 

"I really think it's important to come to schools and visit because you never know what you will get out of it once you get there," she said. 

Although they enjoyed both campus visits, Aryanna and Chantay admitted there were a few more schools they wanted to see before they made their final decisions about where to start their college journeys next fall. No matter where they enroll, we know these ladies will go on to do great things! 

We had a blast hanging with you in Los Angels and congratulations again on your big win! As usual, we documented the trip with a few photos! You can also watch their winning video below. Check out the honorable mention videos here!

 

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Star Writing Essay Finalists

After spending hours pouring over your Star Writing submissions, we have finally narrowed the selections down to declare a winner. Let's give a huge round of applause to Thao Le, winner of a personal call with actor and singer Nat Wolff!
 
Thao Le is a student at Irvington High School in Fremont, Cali., and a very active Get Schooled Student Ambassador. Her essay about the place where she is most content took us on a journey to Nicaragua! Take a few minutes to read Thao's essay and see why we liked it so much!
 
Winning Essay
There might be a cockroach somewhere near my bed, but that does not bother me. My legs are sore and my eyes are tired. The image of the ceiling fan spinning in circles fades as I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Warm and humid airs fill my lungs and I feel the presence of the empty white walls of the small room close around me. The feeling of the soft bed beneath me remind me that I am in a hostel in Estelí, Nicaragua. I am actually here and it is not a dream. But it feels so surreal to be here. Life moves at such an easy pace, so different from where I came from. Finally, I feel at peace.
 
Even though we had to pick a winner, we were so moved by the essays you all submitted that we decided to share a few of our favorite Honorable Mentions. Congratulations again to Thao and all of the students featured. And great work to every student who entered an essay. You guys rock! 
 
Honorable Mentions 
 
Ayanna Edwards
Sacramento Charter High School
 
Silence. All I can hear is the sound of my heart beat and the ball bouncing up and down. I look at the bleachers and imagine the hundreds of people that fill up the stands every other night, cheering like their life depended on it. A basketball gym is where I am perfectly, beyond a doubt, content. In the gym is where I experience my state of peaceful happiness. Here in a gym I can work myself to the bone with people I know have my back no matter what. In a gym is where I know I can strive and cut out all the insecurities I feel about myself outside of those gym doors. I am happy here, at peace, this is my own personal sanctuary.
 
Yasmin Serrano
Nuview Bridge Early College High School
 
I feel a rush of emotions run through me: nervousness, excitement, and anticipation as I stand on the stage blinded by the bright stadium lights and deafened by the audience in the stands. I hear judges say, “Nuview Bridge High School”, you may take the stage for competition.” From the outside looking in, the cheer team seems so simple: motions, smiles, lifts. That’s what I thought, too. I joined cheer about two years ago thinking that I needed a hobby and something to keep me busy. What I did not know then was how influential having a team would be in my life.
 
Myriah Catalano
Sacramento High School
 
The smell of fresh books and the sound of the page turning is my solace. I am content when I can quietly escape my life for a little bit and experience someone else's. I experience a peace of mind and freeing my soul. It's meaningful to me because I can let go of all my worries. Reading helped during my darkest times while living at my dad's house and experiencing mental abuse from him. He was never home so I took care of myself for two years. My emotional release in a healthy way was reading and it saved me from a lot of stupid stuff I could have gotten myself into.

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Meet Nona

Young Achiever, Milwaukee, WI

At Get Schooled, we’re proud of all of our students and we love to showcase them for the whole world to see! Check out this feature on Nona, a former Young Achiever and college freshman!

 

My name is Nona Baldwin and I graduated from Atlas Preparatory Academy high school on June 15th, 2013 at the age of 16. I've always had a passion for learning and was advanced twice in school. 

My grandma Nona, whose name I proudly carry, taught me to read and write at the age of two and instilled in me the desire to learn. She also made learning fun. My favorite subject is English because it helps me with my writing.  I often write poetry because I feel that I can express myself better through my poems.  I also do local acting and mentoring with an organization here in Milwaukee.

The Mayor of Milwaukee honored me with an award for being a young achiever, but what motivated me the most was the love and support of my family

Now that I’m heading off to college, I thought I’d share a few things I learned about being successful in school!

Stay focused.
- I know you've probably heard this numerous times before however, focus is the key to success.  You have to remember graduation is a goal that can be achieved with time and focus.

Never be ashamed to ask for help.
- Everyone, including myself, needs some extra help at times.

Never assume something is too great to accomplish.
- Dreams can become reality with determination and faith.  Hard work always pays off.

Always believe in yourself.
- If you believe you can do it, no matter who tells you that you can't, you can.

Never belittle yourself.
- Always believe that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
 

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Meet Angelica

Student, 17 Houston, Tx

Education Is The Door of Hope – Angelica Sanchez, 17, found the motivation to succeed from her parents. A family from Mexico, her parents taught her that getting an education was the door to hope and a successful future.

 

Her goal is to become the first member of her family to obtain a college degree. “I strive to become example for my family so that they don’t give up on their own education.” 

 
Angelica, with the full support of her parents and her local Boys & Girls Club, continues to develop the skills she’ll need to finish high school and graduate from college – like confidence, patience and integrity. Mostly importantly, she learned how to be comfortable with herself and proud of who she is today.

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Meet Nyasia

She made the promise!

 

Even as a freshman, Nyasia has her eyes set on graduating from high school and heading off to college. Learn more about her plans for success and why education is important to her!

 

When her school, the Emerson School of Hospitality, signed up for a Get Schooled challenge, she saw it as way to keep her motivated and on track to graduate.

 
Now that Nyasia has made the Promise to Graduate with Get Schooled and the Taco Bell Foundation For Teens, she’s hard at work learning about her college options. Right now her sights are set on attending D’Youville College where she wants to major in criminal justice. Even with a few years of high school left, we know she will reach her goal!

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Meet Wande

Budding Fashionista

 

At Get Schooled, we like to recognize the awesome things you do! During our Dress A Celeb T-Shirt Contest, we received great submissions from students all across the country.

 

Although there could only be one winner, we thought you should get to know some of the budding designers who entered. 

Meet Wande! She's a junior at Stony Point High School in Texas with big plans for her future! 
 
Get Schooled: What are your college plans?
Wande: I plan to attend a 4 year University and major pre-med.
 
Get Schooled: What do you like most about school? 
Wande: I like how I have the opportunity to interact with a diverse population of students. I enjoy being able to meet new people and hear the different opinions of the various students. 
 
Get Schooled: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten from a teacher? 
Wande: The best piece of advice I've ever gotten from a teacher was to "never tell yourself that you can't do something."
  
Get Schooled: How do you find inspiration for your designs? 
Wande: I find inspiration for my designs by just being myself. I'm naturally a very creative person and when I enter my "creative mode" I surprise myself with what I create.
 
Get Schooled: Have you ever entered an art or design contest before? 
Wande: Never! This was the first time I've ever entered an art design contest before.
 
Get Schooled: Do you design things for your friends and family? 
Wande: Yes, I occasionally design things such as t-shirts and pictures for my friends and family.
 
Get Schooled: Who is your design or fashion icon? 
Wande: My favorite design icon is Yves Saint Laurent.
 
Get Schooled: If you could dress any celebrity, which one would you choose to style for a red carpet event? Why?
Wande: I would choose to style Nicki Minaj for a red carpet event. I would choose her because she is not afraid to try new things and stand out with her style; I feel like it would be very enjoyable being her stylist and picking out something for her to wear. 

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Students Hoop with the Bobcats

Future Forward Challenge

Forty students across Charlotte did what few students have ever done before. They joined the ranks of such NBA greats as Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson when they took the court at the Time Warner Arena in Charolette, NC to play some hoops! 

 
These students earned a day with the Bobcats and Get Schooled for their awesome participation during the Future Forward Challenge! What exactly happened? They played a pick-up game on the Bobcats court, sat in on the Bobcats' practice, chatted with the players as they ran out of their tunnel and kicked it in the Suite as the Bobcats handed the NY Knicks a lopsided loss, all thanks to Get Schooled, the Charlotte Bobcats and Lowes. 
 
Kaylen Bayvis, a senior at Vance High School, is currently undecided as to which basketball scholarship he's going to accept. But last night, he sure was decisive about the dunk he would make on the Bobcats court! 
 
"Today was such an amazing experience. We watch these games, but this experience of being on the court and watching the players practice, was priceless!"
 
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist shot around and the students studied his work ethic while he was practicing. Takia Gray, also a senior at Vance, saw the hard work with the players, but was clear that being a student is the key to success. 
 
"I'm a student athlete, but the word student comes first, and there's no way for me to be successful as a player without being successful in the classroom," she said. 
 
As for the Bobcats, they are already looking forward to next season. "We'll be great. We have a lot of young guys who work extremely hard and are willing to learn and willing to listen," said Kemba Walker. "That's a start of a great team."
 
Last night, Get Schooled, the Charlotte Bobcats and Lowes provided the students with an amazing experience! Congratulations to the students of Charlotte!! You each earned it and are all winners!! Good luck on the amazing things ahead of you!!! 
 
Are you ready to be a winner? Get busy on the site and you could be next!

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And The Winner Is ...

Nala C. is the winner of the Dress A Celeb Tshirt Contest!

You probably heard about our Dress-A-Celeb Tshirt Contest. We asked you to send us your best designs for a chance to win a trip to a Celebrity Victory Tour stop to hang backstage with a celebrity. Many of you entered but we have only one winner.

 

We're super happy to announce that winner is ... Nala C., a senior at Mount Pleasant High School in Rhode Island! 

As the first place winner, Nala and a parent will be heading to Austin for a one-on-one with our celebrity ambassador! We caught up with Nala to find out what inspired her winning design and what she has planned for the future. 

Q: Why did you want to enter the contest?
A: My art teacher made it an extra credit assignment and I like to draw, so I thought 'why not try it?'
 
Q: What classes do you take now that help you improve your art skills?
A: I am taking a Visual Art class this semester.
 
Q: Would you consider yourself an artist? How do you come up with your art inspiration?
A: I don't really consider myself an artist, I just like to draw. My art inspiration is through music, any kind of music.
 
Q: What inspired you to make this particular design for Get Schooled? 
A: I was drawing and I thought about how everyone needs an education so I drew a picture of the world. I also learned to write using that font in my calligraphy class.
 
Q: What do you hope to do after you graduate from high school?
A: After I graduate from high school, I hope to attend the University of RI and major in psychology.
 
Q: What are three things you like to do for fun?
A: I like to sing, cook and be involved with the track team.
 
Q: Who’s your favorite Get Schooled celebrity ambassador?
A: My favorite celebrity ambassador is Nikki Minaj!
 
Check out Nala and her winning tshirt design!
 

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Meet Gabriel Saenz

Gabriel Saenz 15, Houston, Texas

Building A Positive Future – Gabriel Saenz, 15, had to experience adversity at a young age when both of his parents became incarcerated. With the support of his aunt and uncle, he has vowed to focus on where he is headed and not where he came from.  

 
“I am determined not to continue this trend and plan to set a better example for my sister by finishing high school and graduating college.”   
 
Today, Gabriel is building a positive future through the NFL YET – Driver Park Boys & Girls Club, where he tutors other students and coaches younger basketball players.  He attributes his local Boys & Girls Club for his new confidence in working with other kids and his ability to be a positive role model . 
 

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Meet Poppie Simmons

Poppie Simmons 18, Galveston, Texas

Essentials to Survive – For Poppie Simmons, 18, home can be quite a scary place. But living in a neighborhood where crime and drugs are the norm hasn’t stopped him from serving his community or dreaming big.

 
In his neighborhood, most people don’t get their high school diploma, but for him, it’s an essential to survive. Poppie wants to change things in his neighborhood and other communities for the better, but he has one goal he wants to accomplish first - “I will be the first in my family to graduate high school.” 
 
Instead of participating in the negative activities in his neighborhood, Poppie is busying passing out program flyers for his local Boys & Girls Club. He is seeking education instead of guns. “I have traveled beyond the scope of my community and I have found unlimited opportunities to succeed.”
 

In February 2013, Poppie was the lucky recipient of a $25,000 scholarship from the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. During the TACO BELL® Skills Challenge as part of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, NBA point guard Damian Lillard completed the Challenge course in 29.8 seconds in order to award Poppie with a scholarship to fund his future.

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Mount Pleasant High School

Providence, RI

The students and staff at Mount Pleasant High School know all about staying on top of things for the Fall Attendance Challenge. And they just love showing off their Get Schooled swag! Check out the students and teachers who call Mount Pleasant home! 

 

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Simon Middle School

Kyle, TX

The students and teachers at Simon Middle School have a lot of fun while they're at school! Check out these pictures of them hanging out on campus with their friends and competing in the Fall Attendance Challenge!