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Choice Bus visits local schools

Greenville High School seniors got the chance Tuesday to step onto the Choice Bus, a half-prison cell, half-classroom converted school bus, which visually portrays two different life perspectives. The bus, created by The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, is devoted to helping reduce the dropout rate in the United States. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Greenville High School seniors got the chance Tuesday to step onto the Choice Bus, a half-prison cell, half-classroom converted school bus, which visually portrays two different life perspectives. The bus, created by The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, is devoted to helping reduce the dropout rate in the United States. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

No one plans to go to prison.

However, they do choose to do so. The choices a person makes determines where he will end up. That was the message staff members with The Choice Bus shared with Greenville High School seniors on Tuesday.

The Choice Bus is a half-prison cell, half-classroom converted school bus intended to teach kids the importance of an education.

Every 26 seconds, a student drops out of school. Three out of every 10 students fail to graduate and eight out of 10 high school dropouts end up in prison. Seventy-five percent of prison inmates are high school dropouts, according to the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, which is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate by using tools such as the Choice Bus.

“When students board The Choice Bus, they get to experience what life is actually like from two different points of view. It helps students dig deep into thinking about their futures based on the decisions they will make. Connecting education to future lifetime earning potential and career goals is what we strive to encourage,” said Sherri Stewart, executive director of The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation.

Through a grant provided by State Farm, The Choice Bus visits schools.

Cullen Posey, a senior at GHS who plans to attend Alabama State and study mechanical engineering, said he felt the bus could help motivate students to stay in school.

“I think it’s a good program,” he said. “The things they told us weren’t surprising to me. My folks have talked to me about staying in school and making good choices and I have kinfolk that dropped out, and have told me how important education is. Without it, you can’t get anywhere.”

The Choice Bus will visit McKenzie School and Georgiana School Wednesday.