By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
Eupora Rotary Club members learned about French Camp Academy at a previous meeting.
Stewart Edwards, president, and Lance Ragsdale, vice president of development, addressed Rotarians on May 21.
French Camp Academy, located beside the Natchez Trace Parkway in Choctaw County, is described as a Christ-centered home and school that exists to serve young people and families for the glory of God. It offers young people and families an opportunity to heal from difficult circumstances at home, school or in the community.
According to a brochure, it offers:
• a foundation for successful living built on godly principles.
• a retreat from difficult circumstances.
• quality academics taught by Christ-centered teachers.
• consistent, loving guidance for moral, emotional and spiritual well-being.
• lifeskill training through extracurricular activities and a work study program.
Out of the 160 young people at French Camp, Edwards said 85 percent come from broken families and 15 percent are in the custody of their grandparents. He said 12 students have one or more parents incarcerated.
“We do serve a very hurting group of young people,” he said. “There are no bad kids at French Camp but (they) come from bad situations.”
Ragsdale said children who come there find a safe, stable environment. FCA has 12 homes, six for boys and six for girls, which he said are staffed by godly houseparents. As of 2013-14, French Camp Academy will be a seventh- through 12th-grade school; it is state accredited.
Through the work program, students rotate every nine weeks to a different job on campus 10-15 hours a week and have workforce objectives. When they graduate, they not only receive a diploma but also a resume of experience. The work in such areas as horsemanship, radio broadcasting, grounds/landscaping, pottery, office and retail management, and graphic design.
For more information, call 547-6482 or visit the academy’s website at www.frenchcamp.org.