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The Dream Factory: How Putting Kids To Work Helps Them Stay In School

There’s a lot of sadness within the 230 high school kids who work at one of Southwire’s factories in Carrollton, Ga. One girl has had to raise her own siblings after coming home one day to find both her parents dead. Another girl watched her folks get hauled off to prison on drug charges, then got pregnant at 16. Some of the kids sleep in cars or even tents. Nearly one in five already has a child of his or her own.

But no matter their circumstances, these kids now have hope, thanks to a unique experiment at the intersection of industry and education that’s fast becoming a model for cities and towns nationwide.