Nacogdoches educational program creates huge turnaround for students

Trey Lambright, student of Project Turn-Around
Trey Lambright, student of Project Turn-Around

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - High school graduations are over for the most part, with some exceptions.

One is the graduation ceremony for 'Project Turn-Around' in Nacogdoches.

John Malloy only thought he was retiring from teaching.

After retirement, Malloy began helping Project Turn-Around students with algebra, Word problems and other subjects. That was six years ago. Each year he's watched the graduation classes grow in size.

"Right now, we have 28 graduates and we're waiting on the scores on three more, so we're hoping to increase the number again," Malloy said.

"Over the last several years Project Turn-Around consistently broke records for its graduation class. The trend may possibly indicate that young people are beginning to realize the importance of a high school diploma.

18 year old Trey Lambright recognizes the importance of a GED. He dropped out of high school, exchanging poor grades for a pretty good pay check.

"I actually dropped out so I can go to work. I started working off-shore on oil rigs and stuff like that, so I didn't have enough time for school and all that," Lambright said.

Now Lambright wants to join the Air Force. He applied his work ethic to obtain the necessary GED.

"I started coming here 8-5 every day, studying, working hard," said Lambright.

What did Project Turnaround offer that public school couldn't?

"One of the main reasons I left is because they taught kids as a class and not as one-on-one instructors," Lambright said.

One-on-one instruction is a scheduling challenge for Malloy. He's willing to take the extra time, if the student is willing to learn.

"It takes that inner motivation to really want it. If they want it, they'll get it," said Malloy.

"Study hard. Work daily and anything can happen," said Lambright.

Project Turnaround's graduation is Thursday night at SFA. Volunteers are always welcomed to help students with their studies.

Project Turnaround is located on the Head Start campus on Old Tyler Road in Nacogdoches.

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