Class of 17

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For the past few years, KERA’s been checking in with students who are part of the Class of ’17. Ricky Rijos is a junior at Flower Mound High School where he loves basketball and has played every year. Now he’s trying for the varsity team but he faces tall odds. 

Dianna Douglas

Girls’ basketball teams from high schools across Texas are on their way to the state championships in San Antonio. Bryan Adams High School in Dallas earned a spot in the Final Four this year.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Ricky Rijos is ratcheting up his hoop dreams. Ricky, who’s a member of KERA’s Class of ’17, has left one private basketball coach for a new, pricier one – whose clients include NBA and top college players. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Jerry Harris lives two different lives. His parents are divorced, and he spent the past school year with dad in Ardmore, Oklahoma. This summer, he’s with mom and sister in Coppell. We catch up with Jerry, a member of KERA’s Class of ’17.

Stella Chavez / KERA News

In today's All Things Considered local block from the KERA newsroom: the state’s largest power company files for bankruptcy. Also, a recap from the home rule proposal debate on Think today. Doualy Xaykaothao visits a Fort Worth animal clinic, where allegations of animal abuse have been made. And as part of our Class of ’17 series, Stella Chavez catches up with Chance Hawkins as he works with a new therapist to improve his motor skills.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Kelli Bowdy, one of the students we’re following in our Class of '17 series, is almost through her freshman year at Fort Worth’s O.D. Wyatt High School. She’s even thinking about graduating early. Nationwide, only 3 percent of high school kids manage that.  

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

One in 10 adolescents suffers from depression by age 18. It’s something that one of the members of KERA's Class of '17 is wrestling with. The series is part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate. This week, we check back in with Cedar Hill ninth grader Phantasia Chavers.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For decades, it’s been a rite of passage for American teens. Now it’s Ricky Rijos’ turn. The Flower Mound freshman is learning to drive.

Ricky is a member of KERA's Class of '17, a group of North Texas kids we’re following from eighth grade through graduation.

Stella Chavez / KERA News

When families arrive from another country, school districts have to determine a student’s home language and explain to parents how the school system here works. We look at how one suburban school district is opening a center similar to those found in larger, urban districts.


Middle school can be a tough transitional period. Students leave the comfortable nest of elementary school and face new challenges like harder classes and older kids.

Middle school students and the obstacles they face were the focus on Monday’s noon hour of “Think.” The show reairs tonight at 9 on KERA 90.1 FM or listen online.