As Arkansas works to increase the number of college graduates the state turns out, one Delta community is making strides in the realm of college acceptance. For the first time ever, every senior at Helena-West Helena's Central High School has been accepted into at least one college.
For the east Arkansas city where negative news often dominates the headlines, 100 percent college acceptance is a game changer. It's been a goal of the Delta College Attainment Network, or DCAN, for the last several years.
"We just want every student here to be a successful citizen outside of school," said Tomisha Gant, college adviser at Central High School. "My motto is you have to do something; whatever that is I'll support you on that, but we have to do something."
Gant encourages each student to apply to at least five schools, creating deadlines for students to make sure applications are sent in on time. Along with her co-college adviser, Gant also helps students find schools that best suit them, assist with college applications and essays, ACT prep, as well as filling out fee waivers since the college application process can get expensive for the predominantly low-income student base.
DCAN, funded in part by the Walton Family Foundation, also hosts college fairs at the school and field trips to schools to help students see if a school is the right fit for them.
"To see something positive, my class of 2018 with 100 percent acceptance into college - it's a very big deal," said Briana Hardison, senior at Central.
For Hardison, the college advice she's received has been an extremely big deal. She's applied to 27 schools and received acceptance letters from 19 of them. Just last week, Hardison also found out she received the Trustee Scholarship from Newbury College in Massachusetts, a full ride to the four-year liberal arts college worth $128,000.
"My parents didn't go to college," said Hardison. "I want to be the first to go to college, the first to graduate college and make something of myself."
In fact, most of Central High's class of 2018 will be the first in their families to attend college.
"When I graduate college, I want to come back here and make a change in this community," said Courvoiseia Harris, who's already been accepted to Arkansas Baptist College, but is hoping to get into Ouachita Baptist University and major in political science.
Even though college advisers at CHS understand that college isn't for everyone, they simply want college to be an option for students that face struggle in the Phillips County city.
The next step for these students is applying for scholarships to make college a reality financially - something college advisers assist with as well.
В результате его легкомыслия АНБ оказалось на пороге крупнейшего в истории краха, краха в сфере национальной безопасности Соединенных Штатов. - Коммандер, вы ни в чем не виноваты! - воскликнула. - Если бы Танкадо был жив, мы могли бы заключить с ним сделку, и у нас был бы выбор.