"Purdue Polytechnic High School First Class" docuseries

A three-part documentary series following three recent Purdue Polytechnic High School graduates in their transition to becoming freshmen at Purdue was released last week.

Prem Hall, Audrey Williamson and Keante Jackson, all students in the Polytechnic Institute, are each featured in an installment of the series posted to Purdue YouTube page.

The documentary shows how PPHS transformed Hall's love for race cars, Williamson's passion for robotics and Jackson's interest in planes into a "pathway to Purdue," Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in a Tuesday email.

"When, for the third or fourth time, I reviewed the data about how few Black, minority, low-income students were making it to Purdue, I said, 'Let's build our own high schools,'" Daniels said in the trailer for the documentary.

The first PPHS opened its doors in Indianapolis in 2017. Now there are two more, one in South Bend and another in Indy.

The schools were founded to serve as a pipeline to college, specifically Purdue, for underserved and underrepresented groups.

"The school helped me realize my potential," Hall said about PPHS in the trailer.

Indianapolis high schools sent between five and 10 students of color to Purdue every year on average, PPHS Principal Scott Bess told graduating seniors and their families at commencement last June, according to previous Exponent reporting. With just one graduating class, PPHS doubled that.

Of the 110 students that graduated, 48 were accepted to Purdue, 40 enrolled and 20 of the enrolled are minorities, the Exponent previously reported. Over half of the graduates, called "Techies," enrolled at other colleges and universities are minorities.

"We're the first senior class (of PPHS)," Jackson said in the trailer, "and no one can take that away."

The three-part "Purdue Polytechnic High School First Class" documentary can be found on the Purdue University YouTube page.

Recommended for you