Brittany Wagner, star of the Netflix documentary "Last Chance U," will speak with students at River Rock Academy’s Spring Grove campus at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 15.
Wagner was the academic advisor for all of the athletic teams at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Mississippi, for eight years. During that time, the series followed football players who were removed from NCAA Division I rosters because of academic or disciplinary issues to play at the junior college level. The goal of the program was to return those students to Division I schools and ultimately the NFL.
Chad Kelly played at EMCC: One of the players at EMCC during Wagner's tenure at the school was former Red Lion High School quarterback Chad Kelly.
Kelly, the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, has experienced a series of on-the-field and off-the-field issues over the years.
He won several National Punt, Pass and Kick titles while a youngster in York County. He then started at Red Lion during both his freshman and sophomore seasons, but was suspended from the team during each season. He eventually transferred to a school near Buffalo, New York, where he became a high school All-American.
He received a scholarship to Clemson University, but was kicked off the Tigers' team before eventually enrolling at EMCC for the 2014 season.
At EMCC, in his lone season with the Lions, he started 12 games and threw for 3,906 yards with 47 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He led EMCC to a 12–0 record and a victory in the National Junior College Athletic Association title game.
He then transferred to the University of Mississippi, leading the Rebels to a victory in the 2016 Sugar Bowl. He was named the most valuable player in that game. That capped a 10-3 season for Ole Miss. In early November of 2016, Kelly suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament while at Ole Miss.
Kelly is currently a quarterback on the Denver Broncos roster, but has not yet played with the team while recovering from wrist surgery. Kelly was drafted by the Broncos with the last pick in the seventh round of 2017 NFL draft. That pick is often referred to as Mr. Irrelevant.
Working for EMCC student-athletes: For the two seasons when Wagner was featured on "Last Chance U," she worked to monitor the academic well-being of the student-athletes and assisted them through a multitude of struggles and challenges.
After leaving her position at EMCC, Wagner started her own company named Ten Thousand Pencils, which works with student-athletes to improve their academic success, life skills and decision making.
Last fall, Wagner spent two days meeting with River Rock Academy students, sharing her experiences and motivating them to face life’s challenges with a new attitude.
She will speak this year to a different group of students.
The event is for students only.
River Rock Academy is a private provider for alternative education services for at-risk students in grades six through 12.
Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect that the event is not open to the public.