PACES: Stepping out and preparing to move on
Parents and Community Equals Educational Success (PACES) Project is delighted to announce that it has achieved another first for PACES Project’s Learning by Experiencing activities. Maybe some have forgotten but PACES has not, KCHS Class 2022 had to trudge through a very rough period between 2020 and 2022. So, with PACES Kick-Off Pep Rally of mid-October, presentation of PACES member Tee Shirts in November and campus visits to East MS Community College, University of West Alabama, Tougaloo College, the Mayhew Campus of East MS Community College, and Mississippi State, fading away into the recent past, the PACES Board elected to do even more for the members of PACES Project’s KCHS Class 2022.
- “Joe”Hulin, PACES Project Coordinator, notes, “That at this point of their senior year, PACES’ members will have completed a minimum of 20 community service hours toward helping others in the county, as well as submitted several college admissions requests and scholarship applications. Given that one of PACES stated goals is: “Helping Kemper County High School graduates to get from where they are to where they want to be in the Future’, members of PACES Board of Directors believed that the circumstances caused by COVID warranted more attention being given to post high school education options and potential careers. So those members of PACES that had completed 25 hours of community service became part of a first for PACES as they departed on the PACES bus for University of Southern Mississippi: The 6th College Campus Visits in one year.
Beyond the excellent admissions briefing, informative tour Ambassadors, and a tasty lunch, our students were treated to a surprise visit by 11 current students of USM. It must be noted that not only were the quest all students in good standing, but they were also all members of the Devine Nine Greek organizations. As the Sororities of Alpha Phi Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, Delta Sima Theta and men from The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. entered PACES’ reserve seating area and sat amongst the PACES member, the after-lunch conversation almost immediately took on a party atmosphere. All to soon the time came for us to depart. Noticeably, our group’s College Ambassador that was to lead us back to the bus just happened to be a Delta Sima Theta Soror. What an elegant way to end our last campus visit for Class 2022. Some on that 6th and final trip for the year exclaimed, “We had saved the best for last.”
PACES is an all volunteer program of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority that began in 2009. PACES has the distinction of being a 2017 Partnerships in Education Excellence Award Winner. The above activities are just some of many events the organization coordinates or participates in throughout the year to assist Kemper County High School students with academic advancement and post-high school preparedness.