By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local non-profit honored nearly 150 Philadelphia high school students this week for their impeccable attendance this school year.

Be There! is a program that encourages students to make a commitment to attend school regularly.

”Students have not only been attending, but they’ve been active.”

Claudia Tucker-Keto is Executive Director of the Health Partners Foundation. She says rewarding students has a tremendous impact.

”Their grades have improved, their truancy and absenteeism has certainly decreased.”

Eighteen-year-old Chante Smith received a special award – she has not missed a day a school since kindergarten.

”In order to be successful you have to initiate it somehow and showing up to class saying, ‘Hey, I’m ready, I’m prepared’ is one of the first steps to doing that.”

Chante is the valedictorian of her class at Dobbins High School in Northwest Philadelphia. She will attend Howard University on scholarship in the fall.

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