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Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy Exceeds Expectations

LaGrange, Ga. August 21, 2017 – City leaders are applauding the results of the Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy for helping local students exceed expectations on their recent SAT and ACT scores.

The 501©3 group was established to help students in grades 9-11 improve their SAT and ACT exams.

The group holds a free 6-week program on Saturdays from 8:30am-1:00pm on the campus of LaGrange College in Turner Hall.

Dr. Glenn Dowell says the idea came from a Sunday afternoon gathering with family and friends and grew from there.

Dowell then took his idea to LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar and Dowell says it took off from there.

“Here is a southern lawman who is making sure our voices are heard. We needed high level cooperation and he pulled it together.”

Dowell knew the test scores would improve but he admits he was shocked by the results. “It’s almost impossible to do, but we did it,” Dowell says. “We surprised ourselves.”

Everyone who took the SAT made over 1000.

18 year old Chris Ridgeway improved his SAT by 30 points and was accepted into Georgia State University. He starts school today. (Monday, August 21st) “The people really cared about us and really wanted us to succeed,” said Ridgeway.

“I really appreciated how they helped us.”

According to Dowell all of the students took the free tutoring very seriously.

“Students were getting there before we were,” he said. “We were very excited.”

LaGrange City Council Member Dr. Willie Edmonson made a point to applaud the group’s achievements in a recent LaGrange City Council meeting.

“I’m ecstatic. If we just give our kids some attention, this is what happens. I’m just so ecstatic with these results.”

Mayor Jim Thornton, who has worked with Dr. Dowell’s programs before, wanted to thank him for his efforts in the community.

“We are very appreciative to what you are doing in our community,” Thornton said.

Tutoring will pick back up in the fall and according to Dowell the scores and results will only get better.

“Going forward, we would love to have people believe in us so we can maintain our success.”

Contact: Willie Mae Callaway, Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy Executive Director, (706) 884-1854 To learn more about the City of LaGrange, go to www.lagrangega.org or follow us on Facebook at facebook. com/ lagrangegagov and on Twitter at @lagrangegagov.