A Promise Worth Keeping - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Blytheville, Keith Boles - Reporting

A Promise Worth Keeping

BLYTHEVILLE (KAIT) - Hundreds of high school students in Mississippi county only dream about a college education.

But soon those doors to higher ed may be open to all.

A big promise is about to be made to high school freshmen in Mississippi county.

 Robert Mayer, President, Arkansas Northeastern College. "Our goal was to provide a college scholarship for every child in Mississippi county to Arkansas northeastern college for 2 years."

  It's all about the future, the future of the county and the children who live there. A goal of a college education.

 Myers, "And that's really the purpose of this scholarship is to set a goal for children very early in their educational career. That college is obtainable for them."

 In a county that suffers economically yet goes begging for skilled workers. The possibility of good profitable employment is right there. But in many cases you need skills beyond a high school level. With the promise scholarships Arkansas Northeastern provides the step up.

 Myers, "We're very in touch with our businesses and industry and our programs are relevant. Jobs are waiting for students when they complete our program and I believe that is very attractive to students."

 Currently funding is being raised from a variety of sources, including money from a golf tournament over the next five years, local industry, donations and other sources.

 One of the groups helping to shape the promise is the Blytheville/Gosnell Area Chamber of Commerce.

 Liz Smith, "The biggest challenge and yet the best part when we accomplish it is making college education a reality for so many children who have grown up in poverty."

 Of course like any other scholarship it will have to be earned. The promise sets the goal and the prize.

 Smith, "And the great river promise program is really in the eyes of our chamber I think really about teaching these children that reality can be theirs and a better life can be theirs."

 The promise is expected to be made to high school freshmen in the fall.

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