Five Lansing area refugees earned their high school diplomas this week as part of a program that aims to help expand their career options.
Paula Frantz is the Director of the Global Institute of Lansing, a non-profit organization that provides education options for adult refugees.
“We just want to help them with their dreams of education so that they can get better jobs and go on to postsecondary, and buy houses in our neighborhoods, and start businesses and all of that," said Frantz. "It just makes us a stronger community.”
The Global Institute of Lansing works with volunteer teachers to provide refugees with classes five days a week. Students complete 24 subjects including English, math, and science; this earns them an accredited high school diploma.
39 year-old Lagu Rekpe is from South Sudan. He is one of the graduates of GIL’s class of 2017. He says he’s looking forward to continuing his education even further. But, he couldn’t have done it alone.
“Through all the friends that I made and the community at large. They were able to just continue supporting me and give me more determination not to give up.”
Frantz says the program has helped 65 refugees earn their diplomas since it started seven years ago.