ALBANY, GA. – Tiers Free Homeschool Cooperative operates under The Dr. Annise Mabry Foundation; and, it is the largest online homeschool cooperative in the state that focuses on providing parents with the resources they need to homeschool their struggling high school students. In November 2018, the homeschool cooperative received a grant from the State Farm Community Foundation and launched a pilot program with three police departments in Macon County, GA. The pilot program was called the Macon County Chiefs’ Diploma Program. The goals of the program were to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the community while increasing the labor force participation rate in rural, persistent poverty communities.
Tiers Free Homeschool Cooperative began as one mom’s mission to create a pathway for her own children to obtain a high school diploma. Dr. Mabry is a former dean at a university and proponent of the homeschooling movement. Since 2010, she has made it a point to be familiar with all of the homeschool laws and regulations in Georgia. She has been instrumental in using the homeschool laws to help high school dropouts to earn their high school diploma and start a successful life.
“I wanted to create something that gave people a true alternative path to a traditional high school diploma. I wanted to empower parents to realize what they could achieve with homeschooling. In traditional academic settings, most children and parents do not see opportunities, only obstacles. I wanted to take every obstacle and transform those obstacles into a tangible opportunity,” said Dr. Annise Mabry.
The Macon County Chiefs’ Diploma Pilot Program graduated over 120 students from 2019-2021. As the new grant funding began arriving, the program realized the need expanded beyond Macon County and the program was rebranded as the Rural Communities Diploma Program. The program now serves 78 rural communities in Georgia; and, hosts three graduation ceremonies in the Southwest Georgia region.
As the program was preparing to host its annual September graduation ceremony, it was Albany State University Police Chief Anita Allen who stepped up as a law enforcement partner for the program.
Albany State University Police Chief Anita Allen said “Community partnership and support is the key to developing a pathway to success. It’s an honor to proudly promote individuals who have successfully accomplished a major milestone by obtaining their high school diplomas.
Albany State University Police Department hosting this event exposes opportunities to the students who desire to pursue college. Albany State University can be a great start”.
On Saturday, September 23, 2023, 42 homeschool graduates will make history as the first homeschool cooperative graduates to participate in a homeschool graduation ceremony held at a HBCU.
“46% of our homeschool graduates enroll in technical colleges within 90 days of graduating; and, 54% enroll within one year. While these numbers may seem insignificant they aren’t when you consider that 100% of our student population did not have a high school diploma prior to participating in our homeschool cooperative,” said Mabry.
The 2023 graduation ceremony is sponsored by the Albany State University Police Department, International Paper Foundation, the United Way Foundation of Greater Atlanta, the Tegan and Sara Foundation and Hollywood South Films.