Hampton students enter the ‘Choice Bus’ in hopes to stay in school and out of trouble

Posted at 10:00 AM, Oct 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 10:01:24-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The "Choice Bus" is used to decrease the drop out rate across the country.

The bus is a partnership between State Farm and the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, a nonprofit organization to help students stay on the right path to success.

Anthony Williams, a presenter with the organization, told News 3, "75% of people in prison did not finish school, so we want them to understand school has a big impact on their future."

Students at Lindsay Middle School got to view it firsthand on Thursday.

It's been rolling on Hampton school campuses to spread their message this week, including Huntington Middle School and Bethel and Hampton High Schools.

"The dropout rate in the Hampton area is the lowest it's been since 2008, and that's really good so we're here to try to help keep it that way," Williams added.

The Choice Bus is a half-classroom and half-prison cell where students learn the value of their education.

It simulates where they are now and where they can end up.

The bus has a replica prison cell. It has the exact same bunk beds and toilet bowl. It's set up to leave students with a bad impression so they won't end up there in the future.

The experience has already gotten students thinking wisely so they won't face those bad consequences.

"That's dumb. Why would you drop out of school when you're making an average of $16,000 a year after you drop out, but if you continue your education, that's only an extra four years of high school?" said Lindsay Middle School student Tray Benton. "If you continue to pursue your education, then you're going to make about $60,000-80,000 a year."