Our aim is to serve persons from low-income families or who are at-risk of dropping out of school due to social-economic hardships. At least 51% of our participants are low and moderate income. All members must meet the following:
• Documentation of household income and/or receipt of Food Stamp or TANF
• Between the ages of 14 – 25
• If enrolled in school, maintain a 2.0 GPA, and have no failing grades at any time during the academic year
• Avoid being expelled from school or being incarcerated for the commission of a felony
Skills, skills, skills or the lack of opportunity to acquire them, is the curse of being raised in a low-income community, especially one where the chance to gain the knowledge to ascend to middle and upper income status is flaunted in the face of the impoverished. That’s the case for thousands of low-income youth growing up in Athens-Clarke County.
Athens-Clarke County can boast of being the home of the state’s flagship educational institution, The University of Georgia. She can roar in support of one of the most profitable college football teams in America – the Georgia Bulldogs. She can be proud of being the town that produced rock music giants REM and Wide Spread Panic. But, despite the fact thousands have come to town and gotten the skills needed to become financially well off, Athens-Clarke County also has to acknowledge that it is one of the poorest counties in America, and that means too many native-born Athenians are being denied the opportunity to pursue wealth building careers. Our aim is to provide them a path out of poverty.
Building Lasting Skills
Through Education Matters and MEU Radio Athens, A-CC High School Completion Initiative (HSCI) is providing job skill development, employment and internship opportunities to youth dreaming of careers in the fields of digital media, audio production, marketing, and journalism. Simultaneously, radio and the internet are used as youth gang and high school dropout prevention tools that communicate to the general public that education matters and is the key to escaping poverty.
Education Matters is a weekly, 60-minute long radio program - airing Saturdays at 10 AM on WXAG 92.7 FM and 1470 AM - that emphasizes the importance of completing high school and seeking post-secondary education. It trains 14-18-year-olds in the field of mass communications. Topics covered include grammar, writing, announcing, ad sales, marketing, program production, interviewing and research.
MEU (Music, Education, Uplift) Radio Athens is a 24 hour, seven days a week internet radio station that provides youth a means of delivering messages they feel are vital to the well-being of their community. It is operated by youth between age 14 – 25. Acquired skills include programming, audio production, interviewing, organizational development and business operations.
These skills benefit the participants in both the classroom, workplace, and life. To stay in the program, participants must pass all classes, improve school attendance, stay on track to graduate and avoid legal trouble. Participants also get mentors and exposure to professional, educational and life development activities.
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Education Matters Network/MEU Radio Athens is operated by the Athens-Clarke County High School Completion Initiative, a registered nonprofit in Georgia.