BRCC building ties with area churches to bring educational opportunities to underserved individuals and communities

College to Church program to bring educational resources to church sites

 Pictured (l to r) Baton Rouge Community College and partners announced the College to Church educational initiative. The program will connect BRCC to Centers of Faith in the Greater Baton Rouge community, providing more access and entry points to education. Pictured (l to r) BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, and the Rev. Fred Jeff Smith, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

Pictured (l to r) Baton Rouge Community College and partners announced the College to Church educational initiative. The program will connect BRCC to Centers of Faith in the Greater Baton Rouge community, providing more access and entry points to education. Pictured (l to r) BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, and the Rev. Fred Jeff Smith, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

Today, Baton Rouge Community College, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, and the Rev. Fred Jeff Smith, along with several other local church leaders announced the College to Church educational initiative. The program will connect BRCC to Centers of Faith in the Greater Baton Rouge community, providing more access and entry points to education.

BRCC plans to pilot the program at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church first and then expand to more Centers of Faith in the area that are interested in partnering with the college to expand educational offerings to members in the community.

“Many people in the community are already utilizing food, clothing, and health services offered by their community church, and BRCC wants to make an impact by helping churches meet the educational needs of many of those individuals,” said BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith.  “We are grateful for Rev. Smith and Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church who stepped up first to partner with us to increase access points and provide world-class educational opportunities for our community.” 

The new initiative is designed to, make opportunities available for more underserved individuals throughout the Baton Rouge area, with BRCC bringing services to the community and meeting people where they are. 

“Our faith community plays a tremendous role serving our citizens and connecting vulnerable residents to resources. We have long partnered with churches and faith organizations to improve our community and this initiative continues these efforts,” said Mayor Broome.

“Throughout its history, the African American Church has been a principal partner in the academic preparation of our people so that they can provide for themselves, and their families and they can be unfettered in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness,” said the Rev. Fred Jeff Smith, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. “Since 1972, Shiloh has offered childcare and an early learning academy.  Since 1976, Shiloh has provided academic scholarships to help people further their education.  Since 1992, Shiloh has sponsored and financially underwritten vocational experience through our Summer Enrichment Program, which pairs young people with employers throughout the Greater Baton Rouge area so that they might gain valuable experience that will give them a leg up when it is their time to join the workforce.  We see our partnership with BRCC and East Baton Rouge Parish as an exciting extension of our commitment to holistic ministry, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be at the drawing board for such a program.”

The College to Church initiative will provide access to education, including  earning a high school diploma, earning industry-based training credentials, or certifications to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in industries for successful careers. Participants will be paired with financial support opportunities such as the MJ Foster Promise Program or FAFSA application assistance.  

Starting in July, BRCC will set up a mobile campus site at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church with support services taking place during the evenings. BRCC will offer an Adult Education course (HISET prep), industry-based courses for high-wage, high-demand jobs, tutoring and assistance with various funding and financial aid. In addition to classes taught by BRCC professors, staff and counselors will be available to help with admission and advising.

BRCC is invites Centers of Faith and community organizations who are interested in partnering with to provide more access to education through the College to Church program, to contact the college at 1-866-217-9823 or brccadmissions@mybrcc.edu. 

 

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