He was almost a dropout himself…now, he is making it his mission to make sure students succeed in school.

Eric Wood didn’t fit in in high school.

When he wasn’t hiding behind long hair and heavy metal music, he was–he  admits–regularly getting into trouble with his teachers. When he ended his sophomore year suspended and not sure he was welcome back in the fall, his principal told him to look into Mott Middle College High School.

Eric’s decision to enroll there sixteen years ago changed everything, and put him on a path he never could have imagined. No longer the “bad kid” who rarely turned in his work,  Eric found himself embraced…and challenged. At MMC, his teachers weren’t satisfied with him getting enough credits for his high school diploma–here, like everyone else, he was required to take college courses at the same time.

Eric ended up going on for his BA and earning a Master’s degree… quite a turnaround for someone who figured he was destined to become another high school dropout.

So how did it happen? How did Mott Middle College take an at-risk teen and turn him into a highly educated teacher with a passion for giving back? And what can we learn from his story that could help us with the dropout crisis our state is facing?

Listen to WJR Tuesday night at 8pm to hear Eric’s story, and hear how this unique program is turning thousands of lives around…one at a time.

This month’s program airs tomorrow

Tune in to News Talk 760 WJR at 8 p.m. Tuesday for Voices of Michigan Education, an MEA-sponsored radio program that offers listeners insight into education issues. This week’s show will feature discussion of MEA’s work to address the state’s dropout crisis, including a tie back to the call for funding early childhood education and class size reduction that is part of a retirement stimulus package supported by MEA. The show will air Saturday on radio stations statewide. See listing in sidebar for affiliates and times.

Watch this video summary of the dropout hearings.