Second chance a success in county

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Second Chance Program is proving a great success in the county as it gives young people a fresh start in life.

The ADECA-funded dropout recovery program is one of the many programs offered at the Butler County Education and Community Learning Center (the old high school) in Greenville.

&#8220We started the program in April 2006 with one part-time teacher to recruit dropouts ages 16-21 who wish to pursue a diploma or GED,” said BCECLC Director Amy Bryan.

As of October 2006, Second Chance has enrolled 21 students from across the county and has two part-time staff members.

Students must meet a minimum academic requirement (of 4.9 reading level) and their household income must be below a maximum cap in order to enroll.

&#8220To date, seven students have moved up an educational functioning level (roughly equivalent to two grade levels) to meet their performance goals. That's phenomenal,” Bryan said.

The good news continues.

&#8220We've had two students earn their GEDS and one has earned their high school diploma. Two more students have passed portions of the GED and are working towards passing the remaining sections,” Bryan said.

Two more students have gotten their driver's licenses, which wouldn't have been possible without being enrolled in a school program, the director added.

In addition to being able to work on individual performance goals with their instructors via computer software and individual tutoring, the students have access to onsite daycare and earn gift certificates for certain accomplishments.

&#8220It is all part of the incentive program written in the grant. We are very excited to see how well our students are doing. These are young people who are truly taking advantage of that second chance this program offers them,” Bryan said.

The CareerLink program of the State Employment Service serves as a collaborative partner and works with the students to get them the job skills needed to secure employment or improve employment opportunities. They also work to connect students with resources for family living expenses, scholarships, grants and financial aid.

&#8220We have one student who has received a full scholarship to Reid State Technical College and two more have qualified to apply for LBWCC scholarships,” Bryan said.