A state-wide program in which MCC is a partner, the Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (MI-BEST) quickly teaches students literacy, work and college-readiness skills
so they can move through school and into living wage jobs faster.
MI-BEST provided free tuition, financial assistance for educational supplies and supportive services where applicable. To enroll in MI-BEST, individuals must be a high school dropout or possess low work skills, be at least 17 years old and be a Mississippi resident.
Meridian Community College offers career pathways to MI-BEST students in Commercial Truck Driving, Healthcare Assistant/CAN, Welding and Cutting Technology; Computer Programming Technology; Computer Networking Technology, Business and Marketing Management Technology, 3D CAD Engineering Technology, Precision Machining Engineering Technology, Electrical Technology, Construction Trades and Industrial Maintenance Technician.
“This is about preparing yourself and how you can get your ticket to get into the game,” said keynote speaker Meridian City Councilman Tyrone Johnson as he encouraged the students currently enrolled in the College’s MI-BEST program. “The game is your dream job. The ticket is your GED or high school diploma.”
Johnson explained that he at one time could not read or write but was encouraged to take the GED. He passed the test on the third try. “I became driven and studied hard. When I passed the GED, that was my ticket,” he said. Today, Johnson, who is an MCC alumnus, is working on his fourth educational degree – a master’s in business administration from Mississippi State University Meridian. “My GED was the most important of all,” he added.
Monique Williams, one of the MI-BEST completers who received her Healthcare Assistant certificate, said thanks to the program, she is now making more money than her previous job and is passionate in taking care of patients in her health care position. “I love what I do. I love the MI-BEST Program and the instructors,” she said.
Other MI-BEST completers were also applauded during the luncheon for their success. Recognized were Travis Arceneaux and Cameron Gilbert, Welding and Cutting Technology; Rachel Cole, Natalie Dean, Brittany Haney, Rossisia Jimison, Kimvetta Kersh, Jennifer Martin, La’Bresha Murray, Jernita Nix and Williams, Healthcare Assistant; and Jamarcus Haynes and Anthony Taylor, Commercial Truck Driving.