ST. LOUIS, MO — MERS Goodwill's mission is to improve peoples lives through the power of work. Now the organization is trying to help the entire community with adult high schools. There are over 500,00 people in the state of Missouri without a high school diploma over the age of 18.
“That means 18% are moving on, each without their high school diploma," said Mers-Goodwill CEO Dave Kutchback.
Kutchback says they have earned a state award from the legislature to open four adult high schools in the state of Missouri. This is for people over the age of 21 who never got their diploma. The first one opens in St. Louis in October. It will enroll 200 to 300 students and charge no tuition.
The other schools will be in Poplar Bluff, Columbia and Springfield.
"The person without a diploma is six times more likely to have a felony or to be incarcerated," said CEO Dave Kutchback.
Their goal is to help our community and give people a chance to hit the reset button. They will look at high school transcripts to see what a person needs to graduate. The state legislature is funding $3 million in 2018 to establish the first two schools.
"Mers Goodwill believes in this so much that we're putting several million of our own money in to establish the schools," said CEO Dave Kutchback.
The average high school diploma graduate in the state of Missouri makes $10,000 more a year and $400,000 more over a lifetime. Kutchback says people who were kids when they dropped out need another chance for the greater good of us all.
“We're going to be working with businesses in the community to make sure that individuals we're training will be strong workers,” said CEO Dave Kutchback.
For more information: mersgoodwill.org or call 314-982-8802