Roger Alvarez and Antero Garcia

Antero Garcia (right) taught Roger Alvarez (left) in his 9th grade English class at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.

That year, the school’s graduation rate was just 42 percent, and Roger was one of the students who didn’t make it through his senior year.

Roger dropped out in 2007 and hadn’t seen his former teacher until the two of them sat down together at StoryCorps.

When they recorded this interview, Roger was working the night shift at a loading dock, and he said he hopes to get his GED one day. Antero Garcia is now an Assistant Professor of English at Colorado State University.

Originally aired January 29, 2012, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.