HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Eleven Hattiesburg High School students are set to be the first to graduate with their diplomas and two-year college degrees.
They're participating in the new "Bridge to Your Future" program.
It is a dual-enrollment program, which allows Hattiesburg High School juniors to take college courses at Pearl River Community College while fulfilling their high school class requirements.
It is funded by a federal grant to the Hattiesburg School District.
“They actually have to meet the admission standards for Pearl River Community College, make sure they have a qualifying ACT score,” said Robert Williams, superintendent for Hattiesburg Public Schools. “They go through the admissions process and then, they are selected from there.”
“They are taking a full college schedule, but we did look at our classes and made sure we put them in classes that fit into the Hattiesburg High schedule, so that they could get them here and get them back to feed them lunch and let them do their extra curricular activities,” said Jana Causey, vice president of Forrest County Operations for Pearl River Community College.
“I’m so excited,” said Casey Buisson, one of the students in the program. “It’s a great opportunity. Everybody that we talk to, they talk about how great this is, how they wish they had this opportunity and I’m just so proud of our school, between Hattiesburg High and Pearl River.”
“I wanted to do this program because I love getting ahead, I love doing a path that other people won’t do and I love challenging myself and what better way than to take college courses at this age,” said Yavaniy Garraway, another student in the program.
The students are taking 15 hours per semester at PRCC.