In the months since the commencement, four of the eight Outsiders who dropped out have taken steps to get their diplomas or the equivalent.
Andy Hurtarte is on track to graduate in June from Independence High.
Steve Larios, whose pregnant girlfriend miscarried after he dropped out, earned a diploma at Options for Youth, an independent study program. He is studying to be a medical assistant.
Andy, Mark Cevallos, James Moreno and David Parraz are working at a mortgage company. David still hopes to earn a diploma so he can join the Navy and play on its baseball team.
Three of the boys who graduated are enrolled in community college or trade schools.
Polo Morales is taking classes at Pierce College and will transfer in the spring to Glendale Community College, where he plans to play football. Three months after graduation, the tension that had been bubbling between him and the other Outsiders ruptured. One afternoon, after nearly getting into a fistfight with Isaac and Andy the night before, Polo declared: "I'm not an Outsider anymore. I don't belong."
He decided he had outgrown old habits and old friends.
"It's not the same," Polo said. "I doubt it ever will be."
About This Series
Students drastically limit their prospects by dropping out. To understand why so many do, The Times spent eight months studying Birmingham High School in Van Nuys. The first two installments ran Sunday and Monday.
Saturday: The dropout industry.
On TV Tonight
"Class of 2005," a segment of the news magazine "California Connected" produced in partnership with The Times, will air at 8:30 tonight on KCET in Los Angeles and at varying times tonight on other PBS stations. For a complete broadcast schedule, go to www.californiaconnected.org .