Union College hosted about 500 Knox Central High School students Wednesday to celebrate the launch of PartnerCorps, a program aimed at helping students prepare for college and their careers.
The program, made possible through an AmeriCorps grant awarded to Berea College, will place college graduates into Knox Central High School with the purpose of keeping students on successful tracks. At the kick-off event, 24 partners—five who recently graduated from Union—were introduced. These partners will spend the next 10 months in the high school working with students and parents as mentors and college advisors who can answer questions about being college ready.
Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson addressed Knox County students, stressing the importance of finishing high school and then pursuing higher education.
“Without an education, you’re not going to have a chance to live the life you want, and there is no reason whatsoever that a person shouldn’t be prepared to go on to college.” Abramson said. “Ultimately, you’ll do well, your family will be happy and the future of Kentucky will be bright.”
The partnership was made possible through a grant awarded to the Berea College Partners for Education. The grant is part of a new, nationwide funded program, the School Turnaround AmeriCorps program. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, this program will place partners in persistently underachieving schools nationwide. Through Berea’s grant, the program is able to place partners not only at Knox Central High School, butLeslie County High School as well.
In addition to Abramson’s words of encouragement, the students in attendance were also treated to a brief musical performance by country singers Chad Warrix, from the duo Halfway to Hazard, and Keith Anderson. They each spoke briefly about the importance of pursuing an education beyond high school.