Gulfport teen goes from high school dropout to college freshman

Ross will be majoring in business administration at Mississippi State University.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 8:05 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - CLIMB CDC is a nonprofit agency serving high school dropouts, disadvantaged youth, and the unemployed in South Mississippi. One of the organization’s participants went from quitting school to being accepted into a four-year college.

Crishun Ross’ path to college is in no way traditional. He failed the eighth grade and eventually dropped out of high school. Finally deciding to make a change, he connected with Climb CDC.

“It happened to be on my mom’s birthday, Sept. 29,” Ross said. “I joined this organization, signed up.”

The organization’s Youth Build program helped Ross gain a new lease on life. During the process, he also earned a high school diploma, multiple certifications and was recently accepted to Mississippi State University.

“It’s a dream come true because I was told that I would have to go a community college and then transfer,” Ross said while smiling. “I took a leap of faith. My mom prayed for me. She prayed over me and watched over me.”

“”He’s the first to complete his high school diploma with our Climb Academy and to go on to a four-year school,” said John “Jake Cook, Climb CDC chief operating officer. “When I got the call last week that he was accepted into Mississippi State, I was on my way home. I turned around and came back and was telling everybody in the building what was going on. Crishun has been almost a perfect kid in our program.”

The 18-year-old will begin classes at MSU next year. Meanwhile, he’s encouraging students who might be contemplating giving up.

“Just in case you feel like you can’t do it anymore in school, there are other options out there other than stopping completely or doing something you’re not supposed to be doing,” Ross said.

“We never give up,” Cook added. “Climb CDC never gives up on the individual. We tell our young people that you can never give up. Set that goal and go get it.”

Ross will be majoring in business administration at Mississippi State University.

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