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Published on November 4th, 2014 | by editor


PBS Documentary Highlights Wright Adult Ed Students & Gateway Program

A new PBS documentary, “Dropping Back In” – with scenes filmed at Wright College in Fall 2013 – explores the opportunities for high school dropouts to attain college and career readiness in educational systems across the country.

Episode Four of the four-part series features City Colleges’ Gateway Program and Wright College students Nanci Bautista and Marco Salse. Nanci and Marco came to the United States from Mexico as children. They dropped out of school partly because education seemed pointless: as undocumented immigrants, their job opportunities seemed to be limited.

That changed when a federal program was announced that would allow undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to receive legal residency status. One requirement of the program, though, was that participants have a high school diploma or high school equivalency.

Studying together, Nanci and Marco earned their high school equivalencies through a City Colleges of Chicago program in 2012. In 2013, they enrolled in the Gateway Program, which provides academic and financial assistance to degree-seeking students with demonstrated ability.

In the documentary, Nanci says they received “motivation from every direction – from teachers and staff.” Laura Nitanda is Wright College’s Transition Specialist for the Gateway Program. Magxina Wageman is the Dean of Adult Education. Instructors include Lewis Lazarus, Erika Mikkalo, Karrie Simmons, and James Zenes.

The segment featuring Nanci and Marco begins at the 13:13 mark:

Watch the four-part series on The segment will air on WTTW on November 16.

Congratulations, Nanci and Marco, on your achievements and best wishes for continued success!


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