A nonprofit organization helping high school aged students get their “GED” is in need of support.
For three months now, Garrison Peters, director of programs for the Community First, People for the People, said the organization is flourishing with 37 students in class. However, funding is low, and Community First offers the HISET test free of charge to the students.
“The school pays for everything,” he said. “You just show up and do the best you can. We pay for the test, and we also have vouchers for the test. The students are not out anything when they come, and we’ve been operating for three months and three weeks now.”
On Thursday morning, people are invited to come out and observe the classes and learn more about the program, he said. Classes begin at 9 a.m., and end at noon.
Fridays are school community service days. Peters said students seek nonprofit organizations in order to do community service.
Since opening in November 2016, they have served 40 students in the Minden and Webster Parish area, with 27 students attending on a regular basis. Of those 27 students, 20 of them will receive a financial education certificate after attending four hours of classes offered by Regions Bank. Students also have the opportunity to work with Bank On Northwest Louisiana, with additional classes in financial management.
Twenty students will also receive their job readiness certificate for attending classes offered by Goodwill Industries.
State test results are at about 51 percent, and Community First classes are testing at 56 percent, he said.
Peters said they offer counseling services to the students through Tender Care Counseling to help them deal with issues outside of class so they can focus on their education.
Eight students are currently attending counseling, and four are receiving food services through Shiloh Community Services, paid for by Community First.