Benton Harbor students trying to win $5000 in gas for school

BENTON HAROBR, Mich. - An alternative high school is hoping to win a contest that’ll keep the wheels moving on their student’s education.

Bridge Academy, run by Michigan Works, teaches GED courses and is in the running for almost a year’s worth of gasoline. The winners are given $5000 gas card. The contest is called ‘Fueling Good’ and is put on by CITGO.
Bridge Academy students have posted a YouTube video to the web and are hoping people see how much the gas means to them.
 “I ride the bus every day,” said Lavarius Barnes, an 18-year-old Bridge Academy student. He’s only a few tests away from getting his GED. “I don’t miss a day of school.”
Barnes is one of the 70 students who ride in the school’s vans every day. Barnes said if it weren’t for that ride, “I don’t think I’d be here every day,” he said. “I’d be here three times out of the week.”
“If I can’t get them here I can’t teach them,” said Chris Fielding, Chief Academic Officer for Michigan Works.
Fielding said the school vans are one of Bridge Academy’s unique ways of reaching students. Students are driven to testing locations, dropped off at work and even taken to doctor’s appointments.
Two vans are used 13 hours per day and burn a lot of gas. “We spend six to seven thousand dollars on gas each year,” Fielding said. “It’s essential to what we do. A lot of these kids see Bridge Academy as the only family they have.”
“They act more like a family than my family does,” said 22-year-old Mynesha Atkins feels. Atkins said in more than a year at the school the vans have helped her conquer some of the difficulty in her life. “Without the gas we wouldn’t be able to get where we needed to be.”
Students are helping teachers organize the online competition. They hope to payback the school for the services they’ve provided to so many.
Online voting ends February 9th. A link to the YouTube can be found here. To vote for Bridge Academy click here.

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