Helping adults get an education and better their lives is the goal of a new funding program in Pascagoula.
Emily Shaffer’s life has never been easy. The 19-year-old moved from place to place and she’s had to raise her little brothers. “I’ve got two jobs. I have worked 15 hours a day every day since I was 16 years old.”
With all of that on her plate, Emily didn’t have the chance to finish high school. Now, she is working towards earning her GED with the help of a new fund from the Bacot McCarty Foundation and Second Chance Mississippi. Second Chance Mississippi Executive Director Zach Scruggs said, “To help the Pascagoula Adult Learning Center and particularly lower-income adults who are going back to get their high school equivalency and workforce certification. These adults need support, testing fees, transportation and tuition, things of that nature that they can’t afford and our role with this fund is to remove those barriers.”
Emily says this fund has helped her in countless ways, even providing her with her very own laptop, but Emily says the most important thing they have given her can’t be purchased. “I didn’t even see courage in myself without them. They had to help me get to the point where i even wanted to help myself.”
If you are wanting to make a better life for yourself, Pascagoula Adult Learning Center Director Kathleen Williams says that the first step is coming into the center. “Our current students range in age between 16 and 62 and they all have a story to tell.”
Emily’s advice to other people in her situation is ‘never give up.’ “I just really want to reach out to anyone who came from my situation and let ya’ll know that you are capable of doing anything and let people help you because it is worth it, it really is.”