Kemper County High School - Parents and Community Equals Educational Success (PACES) to encourage high-school graduates to pursue higher education and career training opportunities

Partners: Mississippi Power Company, North American Coal, Liberty Fuels Company, East MS Electric Power Association, Emelia Resources, Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Coolidge Trucking, J.L. White State Farm Insurance, Foodliner Grocery, Community Connection, Phil Hardin Foundation, The Montgomery Institute, Partners for Kemper County Foundation, Community Foundation, Kemper County Messenger, Para Mac, Community Bank, Weems Mental Health, Busy Bee, Kiddie College, Reed Realty, McAllisters Deli of Meridian, Mississippi Home Volunteers Kemper County Line Club, Mississippi State Extension Service, Unity Springs Missionary Baptist Church , St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Meridian Rotary Club, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Unity Springs Masonic Lodge #225, Mississippi State University, Alcorn State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Jackson State University, University of West Alabama, Tougaloo College, East Mississippi Community College, Mississippi School for Math and Science, Kemper County School District, American Association of Blacks in Energy, Appalachian Higher Education Network, Appalachian Region Council, Mississippi Development Authority, MS BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) Robotics

Students impacted: 1,500 in 7 years
Volunteers: 15 on PACES Board of Directors
Partnership duration: 7 years

Established seven years ago, Kemper County's PACES Project is an all-volunteer, community-based program created to stimulate partnerships among the school district, community leaders, business leaders, parents and students. PACES Project is successfully executing Appalachian Higher Education Network (AHEN) concepts and processes designed to increase community awareness of the value of higher education, thereby improving the likelihood that graduates of the community high school will pursue higher education or career-training opportunities. 


  • College campus visits and Business and Industry Education (BIE) visits
  • Academic achievement recognition programs
  • PACES Reality Store event for 9th graders
  • Scholarships for Technology Summer Camp for 22 juniors and seniors 


  • College-going rate has risen from less than 50% to 78%
  • Average ACT score for seniors has increased each year