Student becomes 1st Alabama inmate to graduate high school inside jail

Student becomes 1st Alabama inmate to graduate high school inside jail

MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - On Wednesday, an inmate graduated from inside the Morgan County Jail.

Tobias Mitchell is the first Alabama high school student to earn a diploma after completing coursework inside a county jail. Athens City Schools and Pinnacle Schools partnered and created a statewide program where young incarcerated adults could continue their education despite being in jail.

"It was really the thrive and the motivation. I know I was going through adversity, and I've been through a lot of things, and really what I've been through, what motivated me every day was just to get up and strive for better," Mitchell said.

Friends and family gathered inside the jail for a small ceremony as Mitchell earned his high school diploma. So did some of his fellow inmates, better known to him as his classmates.

Rick Carter, who helped create the program with Athens City Schools, said Mitchell's story will inspire other incarcerated students.

"He is that glimmer or shimmer of hope, as we say, because they see he succeeded, and he had every reason not to," Carter said.

Mitchell went to Hartselle High School before he was incarcerated. Now he wants to continue his academic journey.

Mitchell said once he's released from jail, he wants to attend college. Now he's one step closer.

"I think I'm more than worthy of a second chance. As you  see, I'm doing these things while i'm facing adversity. I'm trying my best of my ability to get over adversity. I've come a long way. I still got  a long way to go," Mitchell said.

Copyright 2017 WAFF. All rights reserved.