EMCC awarded grant for women’s support program

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SCOOBA, Miss. (WTOK) - East Mississippi Community College is expanding a program to its Scooba campus, designed to help empower non-traditional students.

“Those older students, especially those older female students usually come to us with other life issues that can sometimes hinder the college experience so we want to help them in any way we can,” said Liz Regl a Career and Technical Education Support Services Specialist at EMCC.

The Empowering Mentors to Promote Women’s Retention or EMPOWR program is designed to match one sophomore student to mentor an at-risk freshman counterpart.

“To help them develop more skills such as women’s empowerment, coping skills, along with ways to help them be successful and also be retained in the community college,” said Kimberly Rush a Counselor and Advisor at EMCC.

EMCC was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi, to help reach more students with their EMPOWR program.

“Those who are mentees are given a $500 stipend at the end of the program and those who are mentored are given a one our college credit,” said Rush.

More than 40 girls have gone through the program so far at EMCC’s Golden Triangle Campus.

“It keeps them in class, motivated, if they have any issues or need somebody for support they have that person that they can call or text at any time,” said Regl.

By students helping students, EMCC leaders explain the ultimate goal is to make sure everyone succeeds in college and graduates.

“That is the whole goal of it, to be able to plant seeds to our younger generations to help the girls who are first time coming in to keep them in college,” said Rush.

To find out more about the EMPWOR program at East Mississippi Community College you can call the college at (662) 476-8442.