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franklin county times

MCC students complete MARC program

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 3, 2002
Niomi Wallace was born two months premature on March 29, 1983. She had to stay in the hospital for a long time, until she weighed at least 5 pounds.
On Tuesday she stood before classmates at Meridian Community College and told them of her dreams of being a pediatrician. As one of nine MCC sophomores who completed the six-week MARC program, she is closer to her goal.
MARC stands for Mississippi Access for Rural Care. It is a medical enrichment summer program that helps students who want to pursue careers in primary health care. The program has been in place at MCC for two years.
Janet Kinard, program coordinator at MCC, said the program gives students financial and tutorial support.
Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson and Phil Hardin foundations, state officials are hopeful those who benefit from the program will enter the work force in Mississippi's rural communities.
Wanda Burrage and Willie Mae Kirkland, both 36, of Meridian, completed the program Tuesday. Both women are employed at Meridian Community Center as certified nurses aides.
Kirkland said she entered the program because she wanted to learn more about the health field.
Burrage said the MARC program gave her more experience in the health field. Burrage wants to become a licensed practical nurse and care for the elderly and disabled.
Burrage and Kirkland worked together on a report about Parkinson's disease for their classmates that was presented prior to gradation ceremonies for the program.
Hall said students who complete the MARC program have the opportunity to go into the MARC II program as they continue their education that helps students explore more advanced courses.
Other MCC students who completed the program Tuesday were: Mary Lee Bowen, Erica Brown, Kimberly Clark, Teresa Horn and Rhonda Lard all of Meridian and Veronica Perez of Crawford.