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Back to School Stay In School Program

Updated: Thursday, February 20 2014, 05:28 PM CST

If you walk into one of the classrooms, they don’t look like your typical setup.

That's because these students don't attend your average school.

They're a part of a program called, Back to School, Stay in School.

It was started in Springfield nearly 25 years ago by the NAACP.

The program’s mission was to give troubled teens one last opportunity to receive a high school diploma, before they end up on the streets.

"There's nothing more exciting than being in a situation where your students get a chance to grow and you know learn from their mistakes, the things that they did, and you know everything is not bad," Andre Williams, Director of Back to School Stay in School said.  "We're human we are in positions where we don't make the right decision and we just want the students to understand that."

Andre Williams has been the Director of the program for 4 years.
"We just show them that tough love and a lot of them, they kind of adhere to it.  They tell us that that's what they needed, that kick of motivation to get themselves right." 

A total of 21 students ranging from Middle School to high school aged kids are currently enrolled.

Ariana Carter is one of them.
"You know when it's a lot of kids at school you kind of don't get everything you need, you're still kind of hanging on the edge there,” Ariana said.  “Here, I'm not hanging on the edge, I get all my questions answered and everything."

Ariana said since she’s been a part of Back to School, it's helped her to get back on the right track.

"Oh It's benefiting me all the way,” Ariana Said. “Like they told me it was going to take me probably two years to get done at the regular school and I'm able to graduate this year.  And It's just keeping me positive all the way through since I started and close to the finish so, It's been a tremendous help."

Back to School Stay In School Program

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