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Scholarship programs prevents high school drops outs

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A scholarship program designed to prevent students from dropping out of school has received a major boost. The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation issued a challenge grant for up to 900-thousand dollars to the Buffalo Schools for support of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection.WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says the Hillside program currently serves 180-students at South Park and Bennett High Schools in Buffalo.

South Park students sang "I won't give up" during a ceremony this week.  The Hillside Work-Scholarship program that serves about 3,500 students. 

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
South Park High School chorus

Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman appeared at the south Buffalo high school to make a new commitment to the program that allows students to work -- but prevents them from dropping out of school.

"Some of our very best people are Work-Scholarship Connection students who love coming to work at Wegmans," said Wegman.

South Park and Bennett are among the he city's poor performing schools. 

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Buffalo Schools superintendent Pamela Brown

Buffalo Schools superintendent Pamela Brown has raised the bar when it comes to graduation rates. She's wants the graduation rate to be at  80% within the next five years.

"This is a program that helps us to achieve that," said Brown.

19-South Park seniors in the program will graduate this June.    

Last year Buffalo Public Schools contributed more than $200-,000 to Hillside. Wegmans will match what it can raise to keep the program in place.