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Breaking Ground is a documentary series dedicated to uncovering the stories you won’t hear anywhere else, with a special focus on children, education and poverty.

Lower Income, Higher Ed

College is seen as one of the most important ways for young people to break the cycle of poverty. In recent years, our nation has focused on helping low-income students apply to college and receive financial aid. This, however, is only half the story. By some estimates, a very small number of these students — only 1 out of every 4 — actually graduate from college.

In our latest documentary, we’ll introduce you to Christopher Feaster – a low-income D.C. resident who was unable to complete college despite having a full-ride scholarship. We’ll explore how his story reflects the broader challenges facing these students and consider potential solutions to the nation’s college completion rates for its most vulnerable students.

You can sign up for free tickets to a panel discussion on the problems facing low income, first generation college students at NPR headquarters on Monday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.

The documentary will air on WAMU 88.5 FM during Morning Edition between Sept. 14-18. The full version will air at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 and again at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Military Children

We’ve all seen the photo: A soldier in fatigues stoops down to hug his child one last time before heading off to a war zone.

We may have an idea of what comes next for the soldier. Rarely do we discuss what’s next for the child.

Nearly 2 million children have parents currently serving in the military, and that number doubles when you include the children of veterans post 9/11. They’ve had to say goodbye to their parents multiple times during what has been the largest sustained deployment in the history of our all-volunteer force. These young people live in every zip code of this country and on military bases across the globe. And yet their everyday lives are mostly invisible to the rest of us.

How are these children affected by their parents’ struggles to readjust to civilian life? What can we learn from their resiliency? And what is our duty to these children who sacrifice so much?

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Yesterday’s Dropouts

Every year more than one million students fail to graduate from high school on time. But we rarely explore what happens next. What are these students’ lives like 10, 20, even 40 years after they leave the classroom? Do they ever get a second chance?

‘Yesterday’s Dropouts’ is a documentary about the 30 million dropouts in the U.S. and the hundreds of thousands who return to the classroom every year as adults. It’s been years since these students dropped out of school, but the long shadow of their unfinished education still follows them every day.

Miss the broadcast? Listen to the documentary, segmented on each of the four Yesterday’s Dropouts article pages or listen to the one-hour documentary.To download this documentary, right-click on the play button and save the file to your mobile device.

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