EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards joined other state leaders at Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge Monday morning to recognize an educational program.
National Math and Science Initiative partnered with ExxonMobil two years ago to provide more AP courses to local high schools. Twenty-six schools throughout the state participate in the program, including six in East Baton Rouge Parish. They are Woodlawn, Baton Rouge High, McKinley, Tara, Lee, and Scotlandville.
ExxonMobil says they have contributed $13 million to the program.
AP courses give high school students an opportunity to earn college credit and are designed to better prepare them for a more advanced curriculum.
"When industry invests and puts money into programs, it shows the students, 'Hey, somebody is investing in me, let me give back,'" Edwards said. "And so hopefully these students will rise to the occasion and when they leave here, they will be an investment to our state because they'll stay here."
A senior at Woodlawn High, Josue Caseo-Rodriguez, says he's benefitted greatly from the program. He says he took many AP courses and will be attending Rice University in Houston to study kinesiology after he graduates.
"It's really good college prep," Caseo-Rodriguez says. "It helps introduce the sort of college learning style."
EBR Superintendent Warren Drake, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, and State Superintendent John White also attended the event. According to the Louisiana Department of Education, EBR Parish has the second most AP test scores with a passing grade of 3 or higher.