Our passion is to strengthen and encourage healthy families in Oktibbeha County by offering year-round programs to assist children, support parents, and empower families to focus on the importance of family, school and community working together.  Programming emphasizes family protective factors through proven practices.  Family services are funded through federal, state, local and private foundation grants, as well as, donations from the community.  Strong collaboration with community organizations strengthen our ability to provide comprehensive services to the families of young children and students in the district’s service area. 


This announcement serves as public notice of Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District’s intent to apply for funding under the Mississippi 21st Community Learning Center after school program.  We invite questions and comments on this application.  Comments may be directed to Dr. Joan Butler, Director of Family Centered Programs, 1504 Louisville Street, Starkville, MS, phone no. 662-615-0033, email  This application will be complete and available for public review after Monday, September 21, 2020, at Emerson Family School, 1504 Louisville Street, Starkville, MS  39759. 


As a 10thgrade student at Starkville High School, Carey experienced family issues and problems that interrupted her education. She dropped out and went to work. SHS later referred her to Emerson Family School’s Adult Education program. Since reading is her favorite subject and a hobby, she quickly found success in language arts, science, and social studies.  Math, however, was her weak subject, and she thought she could not do it. Her fear of failure led to discouragement and dropping out of class for a while. Meanwhile, she had a son. By December 2013, she had passed all her GED tests except math. Unfortunately, GED changed its test, and she had to start over.

She began to prepare for the new GED exams. She worked diligently, attending class and taking practice tests. In August 2016 she began GED testing passing Social Studies, and then Reasoning through Language Arts in October and Science in March 2017.   As before, she still lacked math, still very afraid to attempt it. 

She looked at her son and thought, “I don’t want him to ever say, ‘I just can’t do something.’” She faced her fears, worked hard, and took the GED Math in July 2017. She passed on her first attempt! 

Her advice to others: “Anything is possible if you stay consistent, believe in yourself, set aside your fears, keep an open mind, and don’t let your mistakes hinder you. To let go of all your fears is the most important! Education is very important. Without a proper education, it’s hard to succeed and become the person you want to become. Even if you feel too old—it’s never too late to get an education. Stay encouraged.”  She credits God because He “never gave up on me.” She also credits the childcare assistance she received from Emerson Resource Center, “If not for that childcare, I wouldn’t have my GED right now. I’m so thankful that that wasn’t an excuse for me.’”

Since completing her GED, she has obtained her WorkKeys Certificate through our program and is enrolled in the Pharmacy Tech program.