Out-of-school students sought for free ‘drop-back-in’ program in East Ascension

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Teenagers and young adults who left school before earning a diploma now have a chance to drop back into school — without ever stepping foot on campus. 

An open house will be held for Ascension Parish residents from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at East Ascension High School to introduce potential students, families and supporters to the Ascension Parish Graduation Alliance program. 

The free initiative is aimed at people between the ages of 16 and 21 who don’t yet have a high school diploma or GED. Once re-enrolled, participants are connected to a personal mentor, 24-7 tutors and a local advocate dedicated to helping students overcome whatever obstacles have prevented prior academic success. Students also will be provided, free of charge, a wireless-enabled laptop computer on which they can complete their high school coursework. 

“We’re looking for people who are determined to make their lives better,” said Jessica Cain, the program manager over XX Graduation Alliance programs throughout Louisiana. “Coming back to school isn’t an easy thing to do, but if a student is willing to put in the work, we’re going to pull out all the stops to help them get to their graduation goal.” 

Students won’t just get an chance to earn a diploma. They’ll also be offered the opportunity to earn certifications in employability skills, financial math and digital literacy. 

“A diploma is a great start, but a lot of employers are looking for a differentiator,” said Deborah O’Brien, the program’s chief learning officer. “When a recent graduate walks into an interview with these certifications, it says something about who they are, what they know and the sort of work they’re capable of doing.”

Individuals interested in the program can come to the open house any time between 5 and 7 p.m. East Ascension High is located at 612 E. Worthey St. in Gonzales. 

For more information of any of the open houses, or to check to locations of other programs throughout Louisiana, call 888-615-6115.