New Tangipahoa program aims to help teens, young adults who did not earn diploma

Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM CST
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HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - A meeting will be held in Tangipahoa Parish Thursday to introduce residents to a program aimed at helping teens and young adults who left school before earning a diploma.

The Tangipahoa Parish Graduation Alliance is an initiative for people ages 14 to 20 who do not have a high school diploma or GED. Participants are paired with a personal mentor, tutors, and a local advocate dedicated to helping them to overcome obstacles that previously stood in the way of their success.

The program is free and flexible. Participants can complete all of their coursework on a laptop which is provided by the program free of charge.

"We give out students everything they need to reach their graduation goal. All we're asking for in return is that they work hard and refuse to give up," said Jessica Cain, program manager for Graduation Alliance programs throughout Louisiana.

The meeting will be held Thursday, January 19 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Hammond High Magnet School, located at 45168 River Rd. Students, family members, and supporters of the program are all welcome to attend.

In addition to the opportunity to earn a diploma, Graduation Alliance participants have the chance to earn certifications in employable skills, financial math, and digital literacy.

"Most of the students who come to us already know quite well how challenging it can be to find good work without a diploma. The truth is, though, that even with a diploma, it can be hard to differentiate yourself from other job seekers. These certifications help you stand out in a crowd," said Deborah O'Brien, the program's chief learning officer.

For more information about the meeting, or to locate other programs in Louisiana, call 888-615-6115.

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