A non-profit organization in Mississippi is helping thousands of public school students stay on the right path to graduate high school and be successful in life. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, "Jobs for Mississippi Graduates" helps young people who have disconnected in the classroom focus on their future.
Kelvisha Mosley will graduate this May from North Panola High School. She says the mentoring environment in the "Jobs for Mississippi Graduates" program helps her stay on track.
"JMG has help me a lot with my grades. She's always telling me, "You've gotta graduate. You've gotta graduate." It has helped me stay on track with my studying and working."
Middle and high school students from across the state met this week in Jackson to learn the skills required to get hired, like creative thinking, public speaking, and financial literacy. Ramona Williams is the program's Executive Director.
"It's so imparitive that our young people know how to interview, how to construct a resume, how to conduct themselves when they're actually employed in the workforce. Certainly, it's a win-win for the state if we can attract industry to the state because we have this workforce that knows how to work."
Bankcorp South is one of the program's corporate sponsors. Evelyn Edwards is the company's Vice President and Community Grants Specialist.
"We want them to make connections with what they're doing the classroom to what their possible careers can actually be. And, what they can actually earn and understand how far that money really goes."
Williams says of the 2,500 students in the program, 90% will graduate from high school this year.
Half of them will go on to college, while the remainder will enter the workforce.