Columbia County students now have a place to help them achieve their goals

Thursday, March 7, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Columbia County now has a place for high school students to get counseling, tutoring, help to find a job, and even food and clothes.

As a graduation coach, Clare Bethune knows the load students carry on their backs.

"We have students who come to us homeless, some are living in cars."
On top of that, students try to get good grades, a job, and into college.
Bethune says more often than not, she hears the same thing coming from students.

"I wish I had an adult that knew I was struggling, I wish someone had known this about me, so wraparound for us is finding that connection,” Bethune said.

At each high school in Columbia County, you'll find a student life center.
At Grovetown High School, you'll find brown bags of lunch and dinner, clothes, and opportunities for internships or jobs.

"When it's a student who is showing behavior issues or mood disregulation or really high levels of anxiety, things that go beyond the school counselors level of scope, now they have the ability to refer out to this higher level of care whereas before they weren't able to,” support specialist Rachel Czerepak said.

For Bethune, it’s not just about getting into college.

“It's just been a great environment to see our community coming in, but also our students willing to say the truth, no longer hiding their secrets,” Bethune said.