NEW ORLEANS -- Of all the resolutions folks are making for the new year, the choice to get back in school and continue your education is an important one, and a big decision.
The folks at the Youth Empowerment Project are here to help.
Jessica Irving-Marin is program director of the local nonprofit that works with under-served kids and teens through community education.
"At the beginning of this new year, we're trying to get the word out and encourage anyone whose interested in coming back to school and and getting their high school equivalency and finishing that credential to come on by and get to know us, hopefully sign up for an orientation and turn over this new page in this new year," Irving-Marin told us.
According to the numbers from the state Department of Education, the graduation rate in our state was 77 percent in 2016. Almost a quarter of our kids are not graduating, but YEP's programs aim to reduce that number.
Laci Hargrove is one of the those students working to change her life for the better.
"I come here actually to get my HiSET because when I was 16 I dropped out of school because I got pregnant with my 1-year-old son. I graduate in May and I'm going to Delgado for pharmacology classes and Xavier," Hargrove said.
The Youth Empowerment Project is holding two separate open houses next week, and the goal is to help everyone who has the desire to move forward.
"All of our services are free of charge, and anybody 16 or over that's interested in working on their high school equivalency just needs to come on by, and we'll take it from there," said Irving-Marin.
The YEP Adult Education open house is next Tuesday, January 9th, at the YEP Center at 139 S. Broad St., and Thursday, January 11th, at 1111 Newton St. In Algiers.