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'I Pledge' event kicks off Graduation Matters - Kalispell

Published On: Feb 01 2013 05:03:54 PM MST
'I Pledge' event kicks off Graduation Matters - Kalispell
KALISPELL, Mont. -

It's the very first year for Graduation Matters in Kalispell. Friday's I Pledge event drew in over 700 kids from partner schools in the district.

Glacier alum and current University of Montana student Shay Smithwick-Hann spoke about the opportunities a high school diploma can give to a young adult. Students were also encouraged to sign banners that will hang in Glacier and Flathead High Schools. The banners would remind students who struggle with attendance and other issues to seek out a future mentoring program, aimed at strategies to stay in school.

NBC Montana spoke with one student who said he hopes to set a good example by taking a stand to graduate from high school.

"I feel like it will give me a better chance of having a better job," said KMS student Logan Thurston. "With job interviews, college applications, be more successful. Maybe earn more money hopefully."

Since Graduation Matters Montana was established in 2010, 26 communities have jumped on board and 65% of high school students attend Graduation Matters schools.