Every 23 seconds a student drops out of school. The group with Go Hard Mississippi, a drop out preventative program want to change that, at least in Mississippi schools. Aldric Beal of Newton, and a graduate of Newton High School, has been with the program for two years and wants to get teens excited about staying in school.
“We want to interact with the kids and have fun,” said Beal. “We try to throw in a few life lessons and hope the message will stick with them. They need to stay in school and prepare for their future. I hope a few of them get that.”
The students of West Point High School in grades 9 – 12, were greeted with a Go Hard rubber bracelet and a survey to fill out. After everyone one was seated Beal spoke to the students for a few minutes about what Go Hard is and the importance of staying in school. Hard is an acronym for Heart, Attitude, Reliance and Dedication. All things you need to prepare for life after high school.
Members of the audience volunteered to participate in a bicycle race around an obstacle course in 26 seconds. A couple of girls tried their hand at “Junk in the Trunk” where they had 26 seconds to fill a trunk with objects and then make it close. Boys and girls participated in throwing a bean bag chair backwards into a clothes basket the most times in 26 seconds and then students danced for 26 seconds in three different intervals. Every game utilized 26 seconds to make the students think about the kid somewhere who was leaving his future and his education behind.
“We do understand that there are extenuating circumstances behind the decision to drop out of high school,” said Gemma Layfield a foreign exchange student from Australia who is currently attending college at Southern Miss. “But for those that just do it on a whim, being tired of school, we hope they will think about it. No, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a lot easier to finish high school now along with your friends than to go back later and try.”
Go Hard is touring the state talking to high school kids and hoping to make an impression on them to stay in school. You can find Go Hard on facebook.