ATLANTA – Basketball legend Magic Johnson has opened an education center in downtown Atlanta for high school dropouts.
The Magic Johnson Bridgescape center helps give those who have left school, or are at risk of dropping out, the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. The program, which has just opened its doors, is free and accepts students aged 14 to 20 years old.
Unlike traditional schools, Bridgescape takes a holistic approach, with life skills counselors as well as teachers on site to provide developmental and academic support. Students get academic credits online, including one-on-one and small group classes.
“Those students who finished school [from the center in Ohio] with us at the end of the last school year, 75 percent of them returned at the beginning of the school year to continue their education,” said Jennifer Parker from Bridgescape, in a televised interview with WSB TV 2.
“You can’t get a decent job in this town so you have to get a high school diploma,” said 19-year-old student Chris Wallace in the same report. “It shows me that someone like him [Magic Johnson] cares about people like us.”
Johnson, who is well known for his philanthropic work, has over the years talked about the value of getting a good education. This program is part of the Provost Academy Georgia, a statewide virtual charter high school.