This story is part of WSKG's 9 Seconds series about high school dropouts. It's part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's American Graduate Initiative. You can read the rest of the stories in this series at WSKGNews.org.
Tony DiLucci grew up in a working class family. When he was in high school, his counselors sized him and his family up, and guided him toward a life of factory jobs.
"I had a high school counselor who said to me, 'College, why do you want to go to college? Your dad works in a factory, your mom is a homemaker, graduate from high school and get a job at one of the local factories.' "
Why DiLucci wanted to go to college was because of his dad: his father had always urged him to do so. So he did, and now he's the director of the technical education center at the BOCES near Ithaca.
But DiLucci says the pressures he faced as a young person are different than what today's students face. Had he opted for a manufacturing job right out of school, it would have been an option for him.
Increasingly though, that's not the case for today's kids - and never mind what happens if you don't graduate.