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Program shows benefits of pursuing education to students



Staff Writer


West Lincoln High School students will receive a first-hand look at the financial benefits a college education can bring on Thursday.

Through a partnership with State Farm and The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, more than 1,000 students across North Carolina will board The Choice Bus this week.

According to a press release from The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, the bus is a “half-classroom, half-prison cell mobile experience dedicated to reducing the dropout rate, and is one of six tools created by The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation.

“The Choice Bus experience allows students to envision two dramatically different futures and sends a powerful message about the value of education,” The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation Executive Director Sherri Stewart said. “The major focus during the presentation is showing young people what education can do for them and how it’s connected to career choices and lifetime earning potential.”

A grant by State Farm provides The Choice Bus the opportunity to visit schools, along with the Learn2Earn and the InsideOut Toolkit. The Foundation created Learn2Earn as a financial literacy curriculum for educators to teach students the importance of understanding the world of finance, such as budgeting, taxes, credit cards and loans. Each InsideOut Toolkit contains a Teacher’s Guide, a Stay in School Pledge Card and the InsideOut documentary, which exposes the real story of the devastating and lasting effects of dropping out of school, told by prison inmates who live with the consequences every day.

“We believe The Choice Bus truly impacts the decisions and choices of our students; it truly makes a difference in our schools and communities,” State Farm Insurance Public Affairs Specialist Anna Bryant said. “That’s why we’re proud partners of The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation tools. We know the importance of helping students understand the power of their choices.”

Since 2008, the Choice Bus fleet has visited more than two million students in 20 states. The partnership has worked with Communities in Schools of North Carolina to help schedule schools for the bus visits.

“Education is the key to a successful life,” The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation Founder and President Dr. Shelley Stewart said. “We need to show every child that they have the potential to pursue a career and make a good living. That’s why we are grateful to State Farm for helping us further our mission to increase the graduation rate in North Carolina and across the nation.”

Those interested in learning more about The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation and The Choice Bus should visit www.mattiecstewart.org.



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