MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Millions of students nationwide drop out of school each year, now one learning center in the midstate area is giving them a second chance at success.
The Magic Johnson Bridgescape Center in Macon is an alternative path to bridge the gap. In customizable classes, teens complete courses online through Provost Academy Georgia, a free public charter school. Each student is paired with a counselor who oversees their progress and stands by to answer any questions.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, nearly half of Bibb County students fail to complete high school in four years. The graduation rate for 2012 was 52.3%. Before last semester, student Bahja Moore said she was almost another dropout statistic.
"I wasn't paying attention, I wasn't focused how I was supposed to be," Moore said.
With the new virtual environment, Moore can work at her own pace and create her own schedule. Principal Lamonica Sandford says most students spend about four hours a day on the computers at the center; giving the more non-traditional students some flexibility.
"We have students here because they have part-time jobs and some work full-time jobs," Sandford said, "some of our students have kids. Some want to graduate early."
Marquis Jackson struggled in public schools and he now enjoys the privacy and personalized education the Bridgescape Center has to offer.
"I like the quietness," Jackson said, "and the time. There's less students so I can focus."
The Macon location opened last February and this is the first full school year. According to Sandford, they are still accepting students. The Magic Johnson Bridgescape offers free tuition for all eligible students. For more information, click here.