• Charlie Bean has a very interesting nickname.  He is known as ‘The Tracker.’ Bean earned the nickname for his uncanny ability to find students who have dropped out of high school and help them get their lives back on track.   

    Now, the Saint Louis Public School District dropout recruiter can add another nickname to his resume – American Graduate Champion.

    Bean was recently honored as a Nine Network American Graduate Champion at the Association of Public Television Stations Public Media Summit in Washington D.C.  Bean was selected for the honor by the Nine Network American Graduate staff.

    An American Graduate Champion is an individual or organization that goes above and beyond to help a student, a classroom or a community succeed – setting high expectations, building and finding effective supports, and helping a student or school make the successful journey from preschool to high school graduation.   It is almost as if the definition was written with Bean in mind.

    “Nine’s American Graduate staff members were impressed by Charlie’s record of success as a dropout recruiter, so we chose him as our first American Graduate Champion in December as a way to celebrate his accomplishments and recognize him as an inspiring example of someone’s commitment to young people,” said Nine Network Senior Vice President, Community Engagement Amy Shaw.

    Bean is credited with helping more than 150 students return to high school and earn a diploma during the past three years.  His strategy is simple.  “I give the kids a connection to a trusted adult.  They know I care about them and will do everything I can to help them succeed,” says Bean.