"Project Ten Percent" is a unique, first of its kind initiative, using U.C. Merced students as examples for middle school students.
Action News was at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Planada, Calif. with some of the students.
The program serves to empower and motivate young students to not only graduate from high school but to be successful.
"Project Ten Percent" uses volunteers from U.C. Merced who come from "challenging" backgrounds. One of the founding members says it's rewarding to use his personal experiences to encourage today's youth.
Noel Gomez of Merced Co. Project Ten Percent said, "It's truly an amazing feeling to work with these students, one of the most touching note cards I received from one of the students said, "dear noel, for the first time in my life someone has made me feel like I'm not a waste of time."
More than 3,000 Merced County students have benefitted from the project the goal is to decrease the high school dropout rate by ten percent.