Education

2nd Chance Mississippi: Often the first chance at educational opportunity

Here’s a scenario:

A teenager in a single-parent home is tasked with keeping up with school work, taking care of two younger siblings, and working a part-time job to help cover the gaps that Mom or Dad wasn’t able to cover from their job.

Then, the parent gets sick.

The oldest has to work more to cover the bills. School falls by the wayside as the kids become the priority. Before long, the oldest drops out to work full time bagging groceries at the local store.

Unfortunately, this happens a lot in Mississippi. But 2nd Chance Mississippi aims to offer just that– a second chance– to those who wish to get their GED and get on a career path.

While many GED programs are free, career-technical degrees are not. That’s where 2nd Chance comes in.

“We pay the tuition, and we give a modest allowance, and a bonus for satisfactory performance,” said Dickie Scruggs, chairman of the board for 2nd Chance Mississippi.

Scruggs once spent time in prison for federal bribery charges. It was there he made the decision to use his second chance at freedom to give others a second chance–and there are more than a few who need that chance.

“There are half a million people in Mississippi who don’t have their GED or high school diploma,” said Scruggs.

The money for tuition, currently, is coming from Scruggs and other donations and fundraisers. 2nd Chance hopes to gain corporate sponsors and serve more people across Mississippi.

And these opportunities are not just for students.

“The average age of the people in our programs is 28,” said Zach Scruggs, Executive Director of 2nd Chance. “That’s because, oftentimes, they drop out to take care of their families, and then when they get ready to go back to school, they have children themselves, and have to drop out again.”

For more information on 2nd Chance Mississippi, click here. 

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