Soledad O’Brien to Host “American Graduate Day 2015”

Live from Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in NYC, airing October 3 on Colorado Public Television

Day-long Multiplatform Event Celebrates the “Stories of Champions” — Individuals and Organizations Committed to Improving Outcomes for Youth and Raising Graduation Rates

Special Guests Include President George W. Bush, Gen. Colin Powell, Jane Pauley, Zendaya, Allison Williams, Juju Chang, Rehema Ellis, Jason Derulo, Billy Bob Thornton and more

Local Broadcast to Showcase Colorado Public Television’s Efforts to Address the Needs of At-Risk Kids

American Graduate Day 2015 returns this fall for its fourth consecutive year. Soledad O’Brien will host the all-day broadcast that premieres Saturday, October 3 from 9AM-4PM on Colorado Public Television (CPT12.1). Broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City, the annual multiplatform event is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, helping communities bolster graduation rates through the power and reach of local public media stations. Featuring seven hours of national and local programming, live interviews and performances, American Graduate Day 2015 will celebrate the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are American Graduate Champions: those helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes. The entire broadcast will air again on 12.2 on Sunday, October 4 from 9AM-4PM.

“We’re excited to celebrate the amazing work that PBS stations around the country are doing for American Graduate,” said Kim Johnson, President & General Manager of Colorado Public Television. “And we’re really proud of the work that we’re doing right here in Colorado, giving voice to young people who have struggled to finish school. This is a group full of promise and potential and their stories are inspiring our audiences to get involved and to become part of the solution to Colorado’s dropout crisis.”

American Graduate Day 2015 will be anchored by “Stories of Champions,” a series of 14 one-minute profile pieces scheduled to air every half-hour, which will spotlight individuals and influential figures in local communities around the country who are successfully keeping students on the path to graduation.

For the first time, this year’s broadcast will also feature seven mini-documentaries that highlight the extraordinary work organizations are doing across the nation to help keep students on the path to graduation and track to college.

Hosted by Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist, American Graduate Day 2015 is set up around critical themes with the goal of inspiring citizens to connect with their local public media station and local community organizations, and get involved as American Graduate Champions in helping the youth of their community succeed.

The broadcast and online event will be divided into 14 half-hour blocks that spotlight the organizations reinvigorating communities around the country and illustrate how they provide support, advice, and intervention services to at-risk students, families, and schools.

Viewers and online users who are interested in connecting with local organizations and youth as American Graduate Champions can send a text on the day of broadcast or log on to to find out more about the national and regional organizations and how to help in their hometowns. Viewers will also be invited to participate in the discussion via Twitter using the #AmGrad hashtag and on Facebook.

American Graduate Day is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen – a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. Additional funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Visit the American Graduate Web site for more details on participating PBS stations as well as other television and radio programs:

Juju Chang (ABC); Rehema Ellis (NBC); Jane Pauley (CBS); Susie Gharib (Fortune); Rebecca Jarvis (ABC); Bill Ritter (WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News); Hari Sreenivasan (PBS NewsHour Weekend); Lauren Wanko (NJTV News); Mary Alice Williams (NJTV News).

Among the national organizations featured are: 4-H, 100 Black Men of Syracuse, ACE Mentor Program of America, America’s Promise Alliance, American Museum of Natural History, Autism Speaks, Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Born This Way Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children’s Health Fund, Communities in Schools, The Enchanted Circle Theater, Get Schooled, GiGi’s Playhouse, Girl Scouts of America, GO Project, Goodwill® GoodGuides®, Green Bronx Machine, Horizons National, HorseAbility, Imagination Library, John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, Junior Achievement, Kids in Need Foundation, Little Kids Rock, Mario Batali Foundation, Merrimack Hall, Miracle League, Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, My Brother’s Keeper, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, The Opportunity Network, Opportunity Village, PBS Student Reporting Labs, R.E.A.D., Reading Is Fundamental, Roadtrip Nation, Save the Children, SEO Scholars, Special Olympics, United Way of America, Urban Dove, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, XCITE, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, YMCA and Zebra Coalition.

President George W. Bush; Gen. Colin and Alma Powell (America’s Promise Alliance); Jason Derulo (VH1 Save the Music Foundation); Zendaya (Get Schooled); Allison Williams (Horizons National); Shaquille O’Neal (My Brother’s Keeper Alliance); Billy Bob Thornton (Merrimack Hall); Paul Shaffer (Little Kids Rock); Dolly Parton (Imagination Library); Ed Asner (Autism Speaks); Penn & Teller (Opportunity Village); Mario Batali (Mario Batali Foundation); U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (4-H); Regina Carter (VH1 Save the Music Foundation); Sean Casey (The Miracle League); Bob and Suzanne Wright (Autism Speaks) and Cynthia Germanotta (Born This Way Foundation/Emotion Revolution).

American Graduate Day 2015 is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET. Michael Kostel is executive producer. Jennifer Rowe is broadcast producer. Chris Brande is national studio segment producer. Helen Maier is national producer, broadcast production. Anna Campbell is co-producer, editor. From the Education Department, Ashley Dinges is project manager and Carole Wacey is vice president, education. Neal Shapiro is executive-in-charge