SMHA observed an equally glaring lack of access to adult education for farm workers and others who had been marginalized from the formal educational system. SMHA’s Plantation Education Program, Inc. sought to dismantle generations of unfair limitations placed on educational opportunities. This program transformed into Progressive Education Program, Inc. (PEPI), providing adult education for Iberia Parish. PEPI focused on providing adult education classes, allowing plantation workers to gain a fundamental skill, that opens so many other doors: the ability to read and write. SMHA provided primarily materials support, working in partnership with the Sisters of St. Joseph who provided pedagogical expertise and instructed students. SMHA eventually transitioned PEPI to the Notre Dame Sisters who helped more than 600 people gain their high school equivalency; today, PEPI is integrated into the Southern Louisiana Community College where it belongs as a part of addressing the adult education needs of Iberia Parish families.

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