Muscogee Co. dropouts earn high school diplomas at Catapult Academy

Muscogee Co. dropouts earn high school diplomas at Catapult Academy

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As thousands of young adults gear up for high school graduations in Muscogee County, there’s another group of young people preparing to walk across the stage who didn’t see it coming.  

“I'm just so happy because now I can actually start training for my job,” said Allison Wilkes of Catapult Academy in Columbus. 

Wilkes is among the 66 graduates receiving diplomas instead of GEDs from Catapult Academy, a school dedicated to helping dropouts complete their high school education in Muscogee County. 

"I kind of messed up a lot when I was originally going to school in Montana. I dropped out because of bullying issues and low self- esteem,” added Wilkes.

Wilkes moved to Washington State with her father hoping for a new lease on life.  But the big break didn't come until her dad was transferred to Fort Benning, after he served in Korea in July 2015. 

Even then, the path to success didn't come easy for Wilkes.  Attempts to enroll in high school in Muscogee County were denied due to the number of credits Wilkes needed, she said.  After a month of trying to get accepted in school, the phone rang.  

"I cried, actually, I was sitting on the couch when with my sister when he called and he said, ‘school starts on Monday’ and I burst into tears."

That was nine months ago, now Wilkes has earned 16 credits needed to “turn the tassel” during Wednesday’s graduation ceremony to be held at Carver High School’s auditorium.

Her next step is to attend Chattahoochee Valley Community College to become a certified a paramedic.

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