Mr. Rick Dunn is the founder of the High School Completion Initiative, an organization that uses mass media to drive home the importance of graduating from high school and pursuing a post-secondary education. He utilizes youth to produce Education Matters, a teen lead talk show that also airs on WXAG each Saturday from 10:00 AM – 1100 AM, and to operate an internet radio station.
The station is MEU Radio Athens, and the call letters stand for Music, Education, Uplift. The programming is targeted at people between the ages of 13 – 35. It can be heard at www.meuradioathens.com.
A graduate of the University of Georgia’s School of Journalism, Mr. Dunn is also the host and producer of the longest running radio talk show in Athens, Community Forum, which airs Thursday from 4-5 on WXAG- 1470 AM.
Mr. Dunn has a long history of public and civic service in Athens-Clarke County and the State of Georgia. He worked for the Georgia Department of Public Health where he coordinated the statewide creation of teen pregnancy prevention programs focusing on males. He worked for the Georgia Department of Labor where he helped recently released prison inmates find employment; and at the Department of Family and Children Services where he helped families get the training and jobs needed to get off welfare. He has provided service to numerous organizations including the Athens-Clarke Literacy Council, the Red Cross, Community Connection, and the Clarke County Board of Elections. In 1996, he was recognized as a Community Hero and given the honor of carrying the flame that signified the opening of the Olympic Games held in Atlanta.
In 2009 he was selected to lead an AT&T funded initiative to increase Clarke County School District’s graduation rate. During his tenure with CCSD he also served as the district’s liaison to the Ombudsman Alternative Education Program. There Mr. Dunn implemented tactics that increased the graduation rate of expelled students from 20.3 percent to 43 percent. By the time he retired, in 2017, CCSD’s graduation rate rose from 59 percent to 80.3 percent.
A native of Washington D.C., he and his wife, Mary, have 12 children (3 adopted) and 13 grandchildren. Mr. Dunn operates off a simple philosophy – “There are no excuses.”