What has driven over 30 million u.s. adults to drop out of high school?

Laziness? lack of intelligence? no ambition?

How about selflessness? Sacrifice? Or nobility?

Spending time face-to-face with these so-called "dropouts" challenged both cultural stereotypes and our assumptions about many of them. Many drop out not because they had a problem, but because a loved one had a problem. They leave school to take care of sick relatives, help raise a sibling or child, or work several jobs to pay family bills.

And they worry that if they go back to get their diploma, it will take time away from caring for their loved ones. To them, getting a diploma is a selfish and solitary act.

Knowing that was the real problem, we had to get them to see that going back and getting their diploma — like leaving school in the first place — wasn't just about them. It is a group effort that benefits all. That's how "No One Gets a Diploma Alone" motivated more than 270,000 students — and their support group — to finish their unfinished business together, making it the single most successful high school equivalency effort in Ad Council history.