A new state report just released Thursday shows the graduation rate statewide is up to 82.5 percent.
It also breaks down graduation rates by district and school. The report shows that more students are graduating on time from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
"School is for everyone, if you really want to be something in life," said Shelby Davis.
Davis said that is a lesson she is glad she learned after she became pregnant in 9th grade.
She said that being a mom made school a challenge and that she sometimes had to miss school when she had no one to watch her daughter. But she still graduated on time, with the help of her teachers and counselors.
"They stuck in there with me when I thought no one else would. They got me here," said Davis.
Now, Davis said she is headed to Central Piedmont Community College in the fall.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools said that Davis' success is an example of why the district's graduation rate is up this year.
"I am so proud of our school district today," said CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison.
The district's four-year graduation rate rose to 81 percent. That is up 4.6 percent from last year. The number measures students who graduate on time in four years. Students that graduate, but take more than four years to do it aren't included in that number.
According to the state report, male students, black students and Hispanic students saw some of the biggest increases. Exceptional children had the largest jump.
The district said credit recovery, community partnerships and more personalized learning plans helped.
"Everybody owns graduation rates; our community owns it," said Morrison.
The only group that didn't see an increase this year was students who speak English as a second language or ESL. Morrison said more staff and programs have been added to help.
But he said the work isn't done.
There are still groups of students that lag behind others in terms of graduation rates.
And Morrison points out that an 81 percent graduation rate means that almost 1 in 5 students still aren't graduating on time.
"We will continue to look at each student, every school, every initiative to increase that rate," he said.
The state report also breaks down graduation rates by high school.
Many schools in the district saw an increase in graduation rates.
West Charlotte saw the biggest increase of 15 percent. Its graduation rate rose to 71.1 percent. It is a Project LIFT school, the public-private partnership aimed at increasing graduation rates.
Some high schools saw a drop in the graduation rate.
Morrison said the district has already met with principals to see if those drops are part of a larger trend and what it can do to support students there.
To view a presentation from CMS about graduation rates, click here.
For more information about graduation rates across the state, click here.