BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - The Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (MI-BEST) program is changing lives.
That's according to some former high school dropouts.
“You can do it. So many of our students come to us and they’ve been told that they can’t do it,” Taylor Johnson said.
Johnson is the MI-BEST coordinator at Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC).
She said the program is changing the lives of high school dropouts every day.
“Our goal is to assist those students in breaking barriers,” she said.
The MI-BEST program helps to do just that by offering multiple forms of support.
It provides a daily $10 gas card to help students get to class. It pays up to six hours' worth of class tuition. It offers meal money for students to eat while on campus. After the program sets students up for a job, they can even help pay for supplies the job requires.
However, Johnson said the program is not just for high school dropouts.
“We can enroll a very small percentage of students that have a diploma but they need those skills; they need a better job.”
MI-BEST allows students to work on a college degree while also getting a high school diploma - opening multiple career pathways for students including CNAs, EMTs and hospitality management.
“Recently it was up to two to three years, but we want a student to complete within a year now,” Johnson continued.
In addition, the program offers tutoring to help students reach the finish line
“We’re there to help them through that and help in any way that we can.”
Anyone who is interested can find more information about NEMCC's and other colleges' MI-BEST programs at mibest.ms.