VICKSBURG – Thirteen students whose education was slipping away a year ago walked across a stage of their own last month as the first graduates at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus of a program geared to minimize dropouts from high school.

Those completing the Vicksburg Gateway to College program were:

  • Deonna Roniece Allen
  • Haley Breelynn Carson
  • Caleb Daniel Christmas
  • Tre’Vion Ja’Quae Samuel Ellis
  • Sherika Michelle Lee Kelly
  • Meghan Elizabeth Marbury
  • Lakeithia Jenise McDaniel
  • Colby Stewart Miller
  • Mark Lee Trevillion
  • Curtis Lee Valentine
  • Regina Lasha Valentine

Graduates received certificates of achievement from the program on May 22 as well as high school diplomas from their home schools in Warren County.

The Gateway to College program targets those in the school system who have dropped out or are at risk of doing so because they have fallen behind in high school credits. Once directed toward the program, often by high school guidance counselors, students aged 16-20 are placed in small learning communities and take basic skills classes while dually enrolled at Hinds.

Students entering the program must read on an eighth-grade level and pass Hinds’ placement test for full participation. Classes in reading, math, college skills and other subjects are then aligned for the level at which they would have been taken in a traditional high school setting.

Marvin Moak, dean of the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, credited collaboration with Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent Chad Shealy for making the program a reality at the campus. The program debuted in the 2012-2013 term at the Rankin Campus.

The participants have “been people whose situations haven’t fit well with high school, and also some folks who just did not want to do the high school scenario,” Moak said. “Classes are more on a college schedule, and that’s worked out really well for them.”

In addition, certificates for individual achievements went to Carson, for All As; Kelly, for Ms. Head of the Game; McDaniel, All As; Trevillion, for the Gateway Award, Most Improved Student and Perfect Attendance; and Regina Valentine, for Perfect Attendance. Miller received a certificate for Most College Credit, earning 19 credits while finishing his high school diploma.

The program in Vicksburg is directed by Denetra Taylor. Angela Davis works with the program as resource specialist.



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