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Hannah James (left) stands with YSP adviser Cynthia Scott.

NW-SCC Youth Success Program propels Franklin County student forward

For some youth, finding a way forward into successful adult employment seems impossible. The Youth Success Program at Northwest-Shoals Community College has proven to be exactly the lifeline Hannah James of Spruce Pine needed for her future.

For James, advanced homeschool classes through 11th grade helped her make headway academically, but the isolated experience and difficult subject matter left her burned out and ready for a change. Rather than continue in home school, she entered the Youth Success Program after learning about the free GED program offered through NW-SCC.

Knowing that a structured school system would be a different experience from home school, James said she was nervous about entering the classroom environment. Her uneasiness dissipated quickly upon meeting NW-SCC Adult Education instructors Gloria Butts and Kathy Hutcheson, along with YSP advisor Cynthia Scott, on the NW-SCC Phil Campbell campus.

James attended free GED preparation classes every weekday for several months before obtaining her GED.

“The instructors helped so much by walking me through challenges in the material step-by-step to help me understand,” said James. “They also welcomed me with open arms and made me feel more comfortable meeting new people.”

James worked with YSP adviser Scott to set goals, find her interests and determine her next steps.

“Mrs. Cynthia made me feel like I could talk to her about anything,” said James. “From personal issues to college questions, I could come in and talk to her about it.”

After completing her GED, James earned a financial incentive from YSP. She then enrolled at NW-SCC for her first college class at the age of 17. Through her successful participation in YSP, James received free tuition for Math 110, which she completed in May 2018.

James encouraged other students to consider the NW-SCC Youth Success Program and the free Adult Education GED preparation classes. “Come meet the instructors and advisers here and get to know them,” she said. “They work at your speed, on your time schedule, and they are so nice and welcoming.”

The Youth Success Program serves out-of-school youth ranging from 16-24 years of age in Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marion and Winston counties. YSP identifies and assists those who have been unable to complete their education and need guidance and assistance deciding between continuing their education and seeking additional training toward employment.

For more information about the Youth Success Program at NW-SCC, contact Sharon McBride, 256-331-5262 or mcbride@nwscc.edu.

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