Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signs a bill Wednesday creating four new adult high schools in the state. Exact locations have not been determined but one of them will be in Southwest Missouri.
The four new adult high schools coming to Missouri received bipartisan support from state lawmakers. Besides providing half a million Missourians with a high school education and specialized career certifications, the schools will provide them with something even more valuable: a second chance. That was the case for Sandy Larson who received her adult education in Joplin.
"I had a child when i was 17. I felt like a statistic, and I didn't want to be one. They encouraged me to be whatever i wanted to be," said Sandy.
The adult high school bill is modeled after a similar program in Indiana which saw huge success. Their adult high school program grew from four to eleven high schools. Sydney Snider is another Joplin woman whose life was changed by adult education. After passing her high school equivalency exam, she's on her way to college.
"Without the HSE, you can't really do anything. You can't go to college. A lot of jobs won't hire you. So, it's really important, and it changed everything to me," said Sydney.
According to the census bureau, a high school diploma can increase a person's lifetime earnings by as much as $400,000.