Local student dies after collapsing at pageant practice

A Richmond County high school student collapsed during a pageant practice at Paine College on Wednesday and was pronounced dead from natural causes at Georgia Regents Medical Center, according to Richmond County Coro­ner Grover Tuten.

Fredricia Rouse, 17, a junior at Hephzibah High School, was standing in the college chapel when she collapsed. She was participating in the school’s Upward Bound program, a federally funded program that provides academic tutoring and mentoring to low-income high school students to prepare for college.

Tuten said there were no signs of violence and that an autopsy was being performed Thursday.

Paine College released a statement Thursday to mourn the death of the girl. Carol Rountree, the director of student services for Richmond County schools, said counselors met with students at the Hephzibah campus Thursday.

About Upward Bound at Paine College
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