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A High School Diploma Program Restoring Dreams for Mississip

A High School Diploma Program Restoring Dreams for Mississippians
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Graduates Preparing to Receive High School Diplomas
Desare Frazier

A high school diploma program in Mississippi is giving adults ages 19 and older, a second chance at pursuing their dreams. MPB’s Desare Frazier reports.

Family and friends cheer for loved ones as they receive their high school diploma at a graduation ceremony in Madison. Twenty-eight year old Kiara Wilson of Vicksburg, is among the 93 graduates here. Wilson says she had doubts she’d walk across the stage in a cap and grown.

“In high school I was 18. I got pregnant in 12th grade. When it was time to go back I just didn’t. I only needed a half of credit. But being a mom and trying to work and take care of my son became difficult,” said Wilson

Wilson had triplets while in the high school diploma program and now has six children. She says she’ll be studying social psychology through Southern New Hampshire University’s online degree program. Barbie Ducksworth is with the Mississippi Community Education Center. She says the agency started the online program with the New Summit School three years ago to help people get their diplomas.

“They become parents while in high school. They can’t attend school because they don’t have childcare for the children. Some persons have to become major wage earners at an early age and that keeps them from being able to go to school,” said Ducksworth.

Also Ducksworth says some students don’t graduate high school because they are unable to pass the state test. So far, more than 800 participants have graduated from the online program. Ducksworth says they can link them with services to enroll in college or pursue a vocational career.