A New Challenge in Mexico
Nunnely is an eighth grader at Mexico Junior High, who says after high school he wants to go to USC to "play basketball there." If DJ Nunnely could write the next eight years of his own story, the next four years might be the most important chapter.
"I heard the work gets a little challenging," says Nunnely, talking about his future in high school. And he's right, especially with a new challenge from a program called Show-me Scholars.
"This program targets the middle 50 percent," says Assistant Superintendent Tina Woolsey. Show-me Scholars encourages average students to take challenging classes, like physics and foreign language.
But it also encourages students to take their course work seriously. Mexico business leaders will also speak to students about life lessons. "We're going to tell the kids...what do you expect to earn...what do you expect to get...what does your future hold," said Bernie Phipps a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
Last year the future for nearly 55% of Mexico graduates included a two or four year college. But couple that with statistics from U.S. Department of Education that say 49% of kids that enter college need remedial courses, and you have a need for tougher classes.
"They have to realize that they're choosing their future," said Phipps.
And as DJ Nunnely works to finish his story, he looks to some of his other options. "If basketball doesn't workout, I want to work on computers and stuff," said Nunnely, who has four years and a new challenge for high school.
The show-me scholars program begins in four Missouri high schools next year.