Corinth High introduces new student support program

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Students in the Corinth School District will benefit from an additional program to support their desire to attend college.
Corinth to College matches high school students with mentors who will encourage and assist the students with all aspects of achieving their college admission goal.
“Some students don’t have any adult who can guide them as they work their way through the process of gaining college admission,” said Andrea Rose, the program coordinator.
The volunteer mentors will work with Corinth High School students in 11th and 12th grades to help them prepare for the ACT test, complete the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid, visit college campuses and offer help any other area the students require.
A $15,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission will fund this 18-month pilot project. Project Attention, an after-school tutoring and guidance program, The Alliance Community Development Office and the school district are collaborators on the project.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission identifies Corinth and Alcorn County as an at-risk area based on unemployment and poverty rates, and our goal is to increase higher education levels for these students to change those statistics,” Rose said.
The program is expected to draw 40 to 50 students from the high school, with 30 to 40 volunteer community mentors.
“At our first mentor event we had 17 volunteers for initial training,” Rose said. “Our goal is to recruit 40, and we’ll have a second event on Feb. 8 at Pizza Grocery where students and mentors will meet each other.”
In 2008 the Pierce Foundation began guaranteeing tuition for all Corinth High School students who attend Northeast Mississippi Community College. However, of the 81 members of the CHS graduating class in May 2009, only 69 said they would attend college in the fall.
“Students whose parents have not attended college are far less likely to have the support and guidance they need to get their college entrance tests taken and even to fill out the complicated forms needed to apply for federal financial aid,” program developers said in their grant application.
Many students also don’t take college days the high school allows for college visits, or may not know this opportunity is available.
“The Corinth High junior class this year has 101 students, and we hope Corinth to College will help many of them attain a higher education,” Rose said.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Corinth to College
* Feb. 8: 6-8 p.m., Social meeting of students and mentors at Pizza Grocery
* Feb. 22 and 23: Complete federal student aid forms and sign up for ACT, Corinth High School library
* April 19: Social meeting of students and mentors at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center
(Note: Each meeting is planned for less than two hours.)