BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Baton Rouge Community College, the Mayor’s Office, and local religious leaders begin an educational initiative to better serve the communities.

The program is called College to Church and will link BRCC to Centers of Faith in the Baton Rouge area, allowing more access to opportunities and educational services.

“Our faith community plays a tremendous role serving our citizens and connecting vulnerable residents to resources. We have long partnered with churches and faith organizations to improve our community and this initiative continues these efforts,” said Mayor Broome.

BRCC will start the program at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and proceed to expand to other churches that are interested in being a part of the program.

“Many people in the community are already utilizing food, clothing, and health services offered by their community church, and BRCC wants to make an impact by helping churches meet the educational needs of many of those individuals,” said BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith.  “We are grateful for Rev. Smith and Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church who stepped up first to partner with us to increase access points and provide world-class educational opportunities for our community.”

“Throughout its history, the African American Church has been a principal partner in the academic preparation of our people so that they can provide for themselves, and their families and they can be unfettered in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness,” said the Rev. Fred Jeff Smith, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. “We see our partnership with BRCC and East Baton Rouge Parish as an exciting extension of our commitment to holistic ministry, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be at the drawing board for such a program.”

The College to Church program gives access to education, including earning a high school diploma and industry-based training credentials. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect with financial support agencies for assistance completing FAFSA.

Beginning in July, BRCC will have a mobile station for College to Church at Shiloh Baptist Church. BRCC will be offering adult education courses (HISET prep), industry courses, and assistance with financial aid.

Centers of Faith interested in joining the partnership for the program, contact the college 866-217-9823 or brccadmissions@mybrcc.edu.