Here's a scary fact: about 10 percent of American teenagers drop out of high school, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And while teachers, government officials, and parents are busy sorting out what drives them to leave, one organization thinks the problem might be as simple as a change of scenery. How do you make students want to stay in school? In a word: decorate.
Publicolor, a non-profit organization devoted to both improving the dropout rate and creating an energized young work force, provides tools and training to inner city students, allowing kids to visually transform their beige and monochrome schools into a place they actually like to come.
"When we started painting the school, everything fell into place. Everybody was, like, actually happy," says Dios Belti, a 16-year old from Manhattan who describes her school as "drab" and "boring" pre-makeover.
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[Originally published at ellegirl.com, "In the News" segment]