We have another story about people who are making a difference, but this is a little different. This is an institution that is making a difference, and has the potential of doing even more in the future.
The institution is Forrest County Agricultural High School at Brooklyn, Mississippi, south of Hattiesburg.
In the early years of the 20th century students would come to these agricultural schools, and there were several of them around the state, and live here. Matter of fact, many students from out of state and even out of the country ended up getting their high school educations here before the dormitory program ended in the 1980s.
The students who went to this school are very attached to it. Every first weekend in April is homecoming at Forrest County Agricultural High. And it is a popular time on the campus.
"Well, they're all invited back," said school district superintendent Dr. J. J. Morgan. "And they've had as many at 700 folks come back for that one night.
This school in Forrest County is the last of the agricultural high schools still functioning pretty much as it did when they were conceived, with plants and animals around. But the program has expanded to include other practical disciplines; an allied health program, drafting, business classes as well as top notch academic classes.
And while you can get a good preparation for college here, those students who don't go on to get a degree can get a good preparation for life here; so much so that there is now a move to rebuild and reopen the dorms and make this a state-wide school again, like the math and science school at Columbus and the performing arts school in Brookhaven.
"We tend to think that every student is college bound," said Dr. Morgan. "We do have a lot of students that are college bound and will do very well. But we also have a lot of students who need to learn to do the same skills we needed a hundred years ago. The number one job in the state of Mississippi, still agriculture."
And agriculture covers a lot of territory nowadays beyond farming. And then a school that also teaches practical technical skills so students who aren't heading directly for college can hit the ground running upon graduation is a model to be considered in an age looking for educational direction.
Here's one example of a school that for over a hundred years has been Making A Difference in the lives of their graduates.
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