Transportation is an obstacle Mission of Grace has worked to eliminate for local high school graduates. For the past three years, the church has operated a transportation ministry in the community so students can attend adult education and Spartanburg Community College classes.
Mission of Grace raised $2,500 from a Sept. 19 adult ed transportation golf tournament at Cherokee National Golf Course. Pastor Michael Freyta said the golf tournament funds will provide enough money to continue transporting students through January of 2016.
“Transportation has always been a hindrance when it comes to getting educated,” Freyta said. “During the past three years, we have served more than 40 people. Of that 40, 27 have gone on to get not just their GED, but have been able to further their education by attending Spartanburg Community College.”
Mission of Grace has been able to expand its transportation service into the Blacksburg community in the past couple of years. Although grant funds ran out in January, Freyta said support from Mission of Grace church members and community donations have allowed it to continue providing rides for students without regular access to a vehicle.
Blacksburg and Gaffney High have a number of graduating seniors each year qualify for South Carolina Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) scholarships worth up to $5,000 annually.
Students are eligible for a LIFE scholarship with a Top 30 ranking in their graduation class, a minimum 3.0 grade point average and a score of 1,100 on the SAT or equivalent 24 on the ACT.
Gaffney High had 290 of its 413 Class of 2015 graduates qualify for a 2- or 4-yeaar state LIFE scholarship. Blacksburg High had 82 of its 106 graduates eligible for a LIFE scholarship.
Those scholarships allow students to attend community college for free in South Carolina.
“Unfortunately, we still have students not using their LIFE scholarships. We are working to identify these students now,” Blacksburg High Principal Craig Bramlett said. “We did everything we could before and after graduation to put students in touch with the right people to make them aware of their options. However, a number of these students have not taken the steps to enroll in college at this time.”
Mission of Grace continues to work with the local high schools and community organizations in an effort to ensure transportation is not a barrier towards becoming better educated. Freyta said he continues to work to secure additional funds to support the transportation ministry.
“The golf tournament was a real good success,” Freyta said. “We had 13 teams sign up. And everyone who played in the tournament wants to come back and do it again next year.”
Students interested in a ride to school can contact Mission of Grace at (864) 649-1196.
View article as it appears on GaffneyLedger.com