President Obama: Don't Drop Out

New PSAs Urge Students to Stay in School

By Published on .

President Barack Obama is appearing in new PSAs to encourage high-school students to stay in school. The effort is part of the High School Dropout Prevention "Boost" campaign from the Ad Council and the U.S. Army.

Created pro bono by Publicis, New York, the TV and radio PSAs are timed to coincide with a special address by President Obama to students on Sept. 8 in which he will talk to them about the importance of taking responsibility for their own education. The speech, which is drawing criticism from some conservatives, will run live at noon ET online and on C-SPAN.

Almost 30% of U.S. high-school students drop out, according to America's Promise Alliance, a network that facilitates volunteer action for children and youth.

"Nearly 30% of American high-school students aren't graduating -- not because they don't want to graduate but because of outside, personal situations, including having to support family income, teen pregnancy and other issues," Rob Feakins, president-chief creative officer, Publicis, New York, said in announcing the effort. "These students need all of our support, and we welcome the support of President Obama."

The Ad Council and the U.S. Army started the High School Dropout Prevention initiative in 2000. It has portrayed stories of students who are at risk for dropping out and encourages teens, parents and adults to give these students a "boost" of encouragement to stay in school. It offers ways to provide support as well as tips, resources and guidance online also uses social media such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

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