http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Vicksburg faculty, students team to help new students register

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Vicksburg faculty, students team to help new students register
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16 December

Vicksburg faculty, students team to help new students register

English Department chair Lisa Morgan assists sophomore Taylor Pace is his class selection and registration for the spring 2016 semester.

English Department chair Lisa Morgan assists sophomore Taylor Pace is his class selection and registration for the spring 2016 semester.

Freshman Cameron Furey, left, is assisted in his class selection and registration by Associated Student Government representative Joshua Masterson.

Freshman Cameron Furey, left, is assisted in his class selection and registration by Associated Student Government representative Joshua Masterson.

More than 25 academic students at Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg-Warren Campus have received an early Christmas present from college instructors and members of the Associated Student Government Association.

The gift came in the form of extra help and assistance in choosing classes for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 11.

“It makes the students feel secure that they are selecting the right classes to build toward their degrees from Hinds and toward possible transfers to universities and four-year colleges,” said the campus dean, Marvin Moak.

“I’m just tickled to death that the faculty members have volunteered their office time to help the students,” he said. “It shows dedication and caring and, overall, the kind of instructors we have at Hinds here in Vicksburg.”

The idea to supplement the campus’ two full-time counselors’ efforts was the brainchild of English Department chair Lisa Morgan, who enlisted five other instructors to each spend about 10 hours over two  weeks in helping students.

Morgan secured additional computers and other materials needed for the registration process.

“I got the idea from how universities handle registration,” said the 38-year educator. “We’re trying to bring back days when every student has a teacher who helps them throughout their academic careers.

“Any faculty member on this campus is willing and eager to help any student at any time,” she said. “We’re simply trying to ensure that local people don’t feel they have to go elsewhere for what is offered in the city or county where they live.”

As part of the plan to assist Vicksburg-area students, Morgan said, offerings have been expanded to include classes designed for potential educators. Those classes are art, music and math for teachers.

“That means students who are planning to use the Hinds Two Plus Two Program – where they study for two years here and two years at a university to be teachers – can complete their first two years right here in Vicksburg,” she said.

Cameron Furey is a 20-year-old Vicksburg resident who plans to transfer to Mississippi College or Mississippi State University in fall 2016. First, however, he plans to spend the spring semester at the Hinds Vicksburg campus.

“Mrs. (Cynde) Mott and Miss Morgan helped me go through the motions because I really had no idea what to take or how to do it,” Furey said. “They helped me make sure to sign up for classes that would transfer.”

Twenty-one-year-old Joshua Masterson plans is graduating Friday (Dec. 18) with his associate’s degree, but he finished out his last days at the Vicksburg campus by also helping other students learn the ropes.

“When I first started at Hinds two years ago, Miss Morgan helped me learn how to register and how to pick the classes I really needed,” he said. “That allowed me to do it myself.”

Now as a member of the Associated Student Government, Masterson is helping newer students learn the campus and register for upcoming classes.

The Vicksburg campus had about 1,300 students during the fall semester, an increase of nearly 3,000 from fall 2014.

During the same, most recent semester, 505 students were enrolled in the academic curricula. Moak said 250 students have registered for the spring semester, and registration is scheduled to continue through the holidays and into the first week of classes.

Walk-in, personal registration at any of the Hinds six campuses will continue through Dec. 21 and resume on Jan. 4. Online registration for students who have seen a counselor or adviser is available around the clock at www.hindscc.edu.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

 

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Stability from Hinds CC’s MI-BEST program helps turn dropout’s life around
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14 December

Stability from Hinds CC’s MI-BEST program helps turn dropout’s life around

Sam Rodgers is no stranger to taking care of himself.

He grew up in foster care and scrapped to make something out of his middle school years.

“I bounced around from shelter to shelter, stayed on the street a little bit,” said Rodgers, 34, of Jackson. “I tried to do my best in school, but I had to quit to take care of myself.”

Sam Rodgers, a student in the MI-BEST program at Hinds Community College, is taking culinary classes and recently landed a job at Hal & Mal's in Jackson. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Sam Rodgers, a student in the MI-BEST program at Hinds Community College, is taking culinary classes and recently landed a job at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

He worked in fast food, then as a construction worker for 14 years where he made decent money. “I did everything you can possibly think of in the construction business.” But that job went away, and the lack of a high school diploma and skills beyond the work yard threatened to put him back in dire straits.

“I thought, ‘Well, Sam, you’re back where you started,’ ” he said.

He looked into the comprehensive adult education program at Hinds Community College, and, unlike past ups and downs in life, it’s been all the help he’s needed.

“My fiancé and New Horizons Church told me about an event for MI-BEST at the medical mall in Jackson,” Rodgers said. “They said it would help you get finish school and get a GED.”

MI-BEST is Mississippi’s version of the nationally recognized Integrating Basic Education and Skills Training program, or I-BEST. It allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their GED high school equivalency certificate at the same time.

Students are prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.

The structure means having teachers for both academics and career-tech skills in the classroom simultaneously for about 25 to 50 percent of the time, said Dr. Robin Parker, district director of Integrated Pathways at Hinds.

“We have to modify our instruction and do something different in the classroom in order to help our students be successful,” Parker said. “One teacher is an academic teacher helping students prepare for their GED and career readiness certificate, and then another is a career skills instructor who helps prepare them for nationally-recognized industry certificates.

“So, our students are leaving with college credit and their GED, and a portfolio of credentials industry has endorsed.”

Industries have recruited students to the program, which Parker ensures interviews for jobs that can pay double-digit hourly wages right away.

Program staff called navigators help students find solutions with things such as transportation, child care and financial aid.

“Navigators see program students daily,” Parker said. “They work with our community partners to remove any kind of barrier that prevents the student from focusing on their classroom instruction.”

Rodgers’ experience in the working world got him through the necessary career-readiness and other qualifying tests. His entry onto a college campus for the first time in November keeps “blowing him away,” he said.

Rodgers will be trading his hard hat for a chef hat when he enters Hinds’ Culinary Arts Technology program in January. He wants to take the skills and expertise he’ll learn in the kitchen and bring it back to the inner city, where he says fine dining experiences are rare.

“I want to start my own business and have it where it’s white tablecloths and beautiful scenery,” Rodgers said. “It’ll give people something different besides fast-food restaurants.”

His here-and-now is looking good, too. Rodgers recently landed a job at Jackson’s Hal and Mal’s as an entry-level chef.

“Food is just awesome, always been a passion and one of my dreams,” he said. “You can be in a bad mood, but then eat a delicious dinner and it just changes your whole attitude.”

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‘Bring It’ reality show, to be taped at Hinds CC, features Hinds student choreography
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11 December

‘Bring It’ reality show, to be taped at Hinds CC, features Hinds student choreography

Javadric Kelly -20 Javadric Kelly -45

Fruits of the labor of Hinds Community College sophomore Javadric “Jay” Kelly could be showcased Dec. 19 as Lifetime’s “Bring It” reality show is set to tape at Hinds’ Utica Campus.

Kelly, 21, is a dance student on the Raymond Campus and manager for the Hi-Steppers dance team. He is one of the hip hop choreographers for Dianna Williams’ Dancing Dolls, the featured Jackson team that competes with other teams on the reality series entering its third season in January.

Kelly of Bolton and his buddy Timothy Jones have been dancing together 10 years. Jones had previously done some choreography for Williams, known as Miss Dianna on the show. When she called him to choreograph for the show, Jones stipulated that he and Kelly are a team.

“I teach hip hop to the girls and I help assist Miss Dianna. When she needs some new moves or new ideas, she calls me or my friend Tim,” Kelly said.

He has been dancing since he was 3 years old and is self-taught, but has learned technique in his Hinds classes taught by Tiffany Jefferson, director of Montage Theatre of Dance.

“I learned by watching Michael Jackson, James Brown, Chris Brown, Omari, everybody. I just started doing stuff they were doing,” he said. “But once I got to Hinds, Tiffany Jefferson taught me to get better technique – tap, jazz, ballet, modern, all those type dance genres.”

 

Jefferson said she first met Kelly when he was in the eighth grade through his work in a dance company.

“Anyone could tell then that he was destined to be a great performing artist. Javadric Kelly has boundless energy and talents. His charisma alone is so infectious, one can’t help but to fall for him,” she said. “Since he has been under our direction at Hinds, he has been very open-minded to learning any and everything about the art form of dance. He takes his craft very seriously even if he doesn’t take himself so seriously. He is very playful, but he is no nonsense about his dancing.”

“Bring It” will tapeSaturday, Dec. 19 at J.D. Boyd Gym at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus. The doors open at noon with the show beginning at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 or $4 with a $1 discount by registering ahead of time at http://hub.hindscc.edu/bring-it-utica-campus .

“When ‘Bring It’ first came out, we were always behind the scenes with the girls but we never received any recognition for it. Season 2 is when they started adding us into the shows and letting us be a part of the episodes,” Kelly said. “Me and Tim had a whole episode to ourselves when we came in and taught the girls a hip hop routine. They won first place. Season 2 we danced in the season finale. She (Williams) utilized us as the secret weapons, and they won first place as well.”

Kelly said being involved with the production and teaching the Dancing Dolls is fun. “I love working with the Dancing Dolls,” he said. “We are in a roomful of young ladies who are very, very talented, diverse and versatile. It’s kind of fun dealing with all the personalities. They catch on real fast so that makes the job even easier and funner. They have these great, goofy, enormous personalities that I love, and they have enormous energy.”

Kelly and Jones aren’t paid for the work they do with “Bring It,” but it has led to some paid outside gigs, both performances and teaching.

It has also led to some recognition. When he and Jones were at Disney World, he heard passersby say, “‘Oh, my God, there go Tim and Jay.’ This is really real. They knew us, he said. “It opens plenty of doors for us.”

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

 

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Hinds CC biology honor society inducts new members
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10 December

Hinds CC biology honor society inducts new members

web_Hinds CC_Tri Beta_0219a

The Mu Beta Chapter of Tri Beta, a National Biological Honor Society, at Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus inducted students on Dec. 3.

They include, front from left, Shelby Carroll of Clinton, Jasmine Grant of Jackson, Darya Thompson of Byram, Melissa Keebler of Pearl, Rachel Carroll of Terry,  Bracken Carroll of Terry, David Ching of Crystal Springs, Deanna Sharkey of Madison; second row, Lindsay Pace of Vicksburg, Elena Moore of Byram, Alisha Hickinbottom of Oxford, Nia Bush of Jackson, Kasey Kimery of Pearl, Jamye Davis of Edwards, Ambria King of Port Gibson; third row, Trushun Gordon of Jackson, Myeisha Forest of Jackson, Chandreka Clark of Forest, Ayanna Meyers of Houston, Texas, Kayla Clardy of Aberdeen, Meghan Sledge of Philadelphia; fourth row, Daniel Powell of Jackson.

Inductees not pictured are Jocelyn Brinson, Britney Carter, Myra Hayes, Tomas Jennings, Mary Jones, Olivia Lovvorn, Bertina McGrew, Mary Milone, Muniratu Abdulazeez, Rachel Rhett, Nicholas Shepherd, Anne Sinclair, Layne Tedder, Phillip Thomas and Elizabeth Walters.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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Hinds CC Honors program offers classes at Rankin for spring semester
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04 December

Hinds CC Honors program offers classes at Rankin for spring semester

Students may now enroll in Honors courses at Hinds Community College’s Rankin Campus through mid-January.

Rankin is offering Honors Calculus and Honors Principles of Geography, as well as two sections of Honors Forum. Students may also consider an Honors Contract for earning Honors credit.

“We encourage interested students to sign up through drop and add week in January,” District Honors Institute Dean Debbie McCollum said. “Staff at the Rankin Campus will be able to assist students with changing their schedules to add Honors classes even if they have already registered.”

The deadline to drop or add full-term on-campus classes is Jan. 15.

A full launch of the Honors program at the Rankin Campus is expected next fall.

“I was thrilled to hear about the Honors Program being placed in effect for Hinds Rankin Campus,” said Elysha Roush, 21, a psychology major from Clinton. “While I’ll only be able to enjoy the program for my last semester, the fact that hundreds of other students will be not only able to benefit but also enjoy the program is an incredible thought.”

In place at the Raymond Campus, since fall 1996, the Honors Institute provides an enhanced and supportive learning environment for students. The Institute offers programming in four broad areas – Honors Program, Leadership Studies, International Studies and Phi Theta Kappa.

Students can qualify for the program on three criteria – a composite score of 25 or better on the ACT, a 3.5 or better high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or a Hinds GPA of 3.5 or better based on college transfer credit classes.

Those enrolled can earn Honors scholarships each semester and be considered for priority enrollment in international study and leadership classes. Members of the Honors Program are awarded $150 to $300 in scholarships each semester. Studies abroad by Honors students last year included travels to England, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

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Hinds CC student finds his niche on the Rankin Campus
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03 December

Hinds CC student finds his niche on the Rankin Campus

Hinds Community College student Trevor Jordan started out as a dually enrolled student from East Rankin Academy.

He had significant university scholarship offers but would have still needed student loans. “The thought of going into debt at 18 years old for college made me rethink,” he said, calling the idea “unsettling.”

Instead, he enrolled at Hinds’ Rankin Campus because he got enough scholarship dollars to cover his expenses.

“As it happens, I’m certainly glad I chose Hinds because I’ve had the good fortune to have some of the best instructors in their fields. These are faculty who care about their students and really know their ‘stuff,’ ” Jordan said. “And as a biology and premed major, some of that ‘stuff’ is very challenging. It does go a long way with me that students and their success are a top priority on their campus, and it shows in the attitude of the faculty and administration.”

Trevor Jordan

Trevor Jordan

Jordan is among more than 11,000 credit students who choose one of Hinds’ six locations each semester. Registration is ongoing for the spring semester that begins on Jan. 11 for on-campus classes and on Jan. 19 for online classes. Current students can enroll in classes at www.hindscc.edu. New students must speak to a counselor first after enrolling; application information is found under the Admissions tab.

The Rankin Campus Jordan attends will be adding a full-fledged Honors program, along with the program on the Raymond Campus, in fall 2016 with some course offerings beginning in the spring 2016 semester that begins in January.

In his time at Hinds, Jordan has been active in Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, “which has opened even more doors for me.”

“I’ve learned leadership skills through being a chapter officer, and I’ve been of service to the college and the community through the chapter services and college projects. PTK has given me the opportunity to be involved and work alongside other students for worthy causes,” he said.

The bonus: He has a guaranteed PTK transfer scholarship for his next step after his May 2016 graduation.

“My future is certainly brighter because of my time at Hinds. I know Hinds has prepared me well for any school of my choosing. Hinds has been the best place for me to learn the things, both academically and personally, I will need to know wherever I end up.”

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Hinds CC MI-BEST program puts Vicksburg student on path to culinary dream
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02 December

Hinds CC MI-BEST program puts Vicksburg student on path to culinary dream

Brandy Greenwood really hasn’t stopped working in recent years, despite not having a paying job or a high school diploma.

“I quit going to school in the 11th grade because I got pregnant with my two oldest kids,” Greenwood said. “I was in the band and ROTC in high school, so I wasn’t ever weak in any subjects. I tried five times to pass the GED, but life got in the way.”

Brandy Greenwood practices culinary knife skills as part of classes she takes at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. Greenwood is a student in the MI-BEST program, which provides a high school equivalency certificate and job training at the same time. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Brandy Greenwood practices culinary knife skills as part of classes she takes at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. Greenwood is a student in the MI-BEST program, which provides a high school equivalency certificate and job training at the same time. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Greenwood, a Shreveport, La., native, moved to Mississippi in 1999 as a 20-year-old single mother when her own mother’s job moved to Jackson. A decade of transience reached an apparent low point when she moved into a shelter for homeless women in Vicksburg with her four children. She lived in the shelter a year and a half, eventually doing odd jobs for the facility’s operators.

“I was a house monitor, the cook, the driver, did all kinds of errands,” she said. Once she moved into more permanent housing in 2013, her thoughts shifted to bettering her station in life. “I needed to get myself together and find something to do. When I was at the shelter, I did so many things, including cooking.”

Another go-round this past year at securing a high school diploma through Hinds Community College was a payoff, thanks to a handful of people who work with students in the enhanced adult education program to handle issues of transportation, child care, financial aid and more.

“Ms. Lauren Powers said someone suggested me for the MI-BEST program after I took a test to enter the GED program to see how much I remembered. When I asked what trades I could take, she said culinary was one of them. I said, ‘I’m in there! I’ll take it.’”

MI-BEST is Mississippi’s version of the nationally recognized Integrating Basic Education and Skills Training program, or I-BEST. It allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their GED high school equivalency certificate at the same time. Students are prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.

“Brandy has really overcome a lot of adversity throughout her life,” said Powers, who works as a navigator in the program that helps students with things such as transportation, child care and financial aid. That way, the students keep their total focus on academics. “The MI-BEST program at Hinds CC in Vicksburg was the perfect program to help get the ball moving in the right direction for Brandy. Part of my role as the MI-BEST navigator is to provide a wraparound of student services from support, guidance and counseling in both academics as well as with everyday life to serving as a listening board and being a cheerleader for the students.

“She is dedicated and motivated to reaching her goals, and I couldn’t be more proud of her efforts in the MI-BEST program. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her – I just know it is going to be bright!”

Greenwood began classes in June and passed all tests on the first try. Now she attends classes twice a week, nine hours a day. In her culinary classes, she has learned the finer points of slicing cheese and proper techniques of cutting fruit. Of her core academic classes, math remains “a challenge.” She hopes to take the GED test by the end of November.

“It’s been 20 years since I’ve been in school, and for me to be doing this well I know this is my year,” she said. “It’s time for me to do my part. I’ll be the first child of my mother to walk in a cap and gown.”

“It’s helped me find myself,” she said. “I have the strength, courage and knowledge to do what I have to do. I’m challenged every day in class for something, whether it’s in Mr. (Tim) DeRossette’s class or in math class. I hope this shows my children that you’re never too old to finish school.”

And she’s also thinking big beyond her long-awaited graduation. She wants to draw upon a cooking heritage to bring the dining world’s hottest trend to Vicksburg.

“Cooking is a dream of mine,” she said. “My mom and my grandmother, who is a retired school cafeteria worker, were my mentors. My mother worked for a bank for 45 years, then got her cake decoration license, so she can decorate pastries and things like that.”

“Most definitely, I’d want to do a food truck because we don’t have one here in Vicksburg,” she said. “I know I want it to be good food, but healthy and not always fried.”

Her husband, Randy, laid flooring for a living for 15 years, but is now disabled. Still, Brandy feels she already has her future business partner right there in the kitchen.

“We make this coconut chicken that is awesome,” she said. “He’d make a good sous chef for me.”

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Hinds CC MI-BEST training offers both job, academic training
Posted by
02 December

Hinds CC MI-BEST training offers both job, academic training

Phillip Wallace had something of a clue from an early age about how best to achieve his goals.

He just didn’t appreciate the lesson for a while.

Phillip Wallace

Phillip Wallace

“When I was 12 or 13, I remember my mom putting me to work when I wanted $10 to go to the store to buy something,” Wallace said. “She said, ‘Well, there’s a lawnmower, a weed eater and some gas.’ That’s what started me off cutting grass and trimming bushes.”

Wallace, 24, of Jackson, is now enrolled in Hinds Community College’s MI-BEST program, Mississippi’s version of the nationally recognized Integrating Basic Education and Skills Training program, or I-BEST. It allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their GED high school equivalency certificate at the same time. Students are prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.

But before getting involved in the Hinds program, Wallace’s life was derailed by a 2 ½-year stint in the prison system, a phase of life he chalks up to environment.

“It was a rocky teen life,” he said, adding a scheduling error in high school caused him to miss out on his senior year. “Highest grade was the 11th grade.”

Homelessness and bad decisions put Wallace on the street, then in jail. “Basically, it happened from hanging with the wrong crowd,” he said. “I got in trouble with the law, but I’ve learned a real good lesson from being incarcerated.

“I got tired of the street life, smoking marijuana and hanging around the same old crowd and negative influences, period.”

Now three years into a four-year probation sentence, Wallace is ready to learn in the classroom and in life.

“I have goals set for myself now,” he said. “The only way to achieve those goals is to get back in school.”

Aleisha Coins, one of six “navigators” in the program that help students with things such as transportation, child care and financial aid, met Wallace during orientation period for the program.

“Phillip has overcome several challenges in order to get to this point and he is aware of everything that he needs to do to become successful,” Coins said. “I am confident that he will become an outstanding working citizen.”

Wallace is taking academic courses four days a week at the Raymond Campus and is interested in construction-related career-tech programs. But his experience working heavy equipment with a landscaping firm earlier in his probation rekindled a love for all things earthy.

“I would really love to work with landscaping and with planting things to make things look better,” Wallace said. “It’s my playing field. And I’d love to help make Jackson look better. I love my city, but I just don’t like the way it looks. I want to make sure my home town looks decent, not with grass and vines everywhere.”

He’s also had helping hand-up from the Hinds Community College Foundation, which responded to Wallace’s need for stable housing by awarding him the Fountain Family scholarship. It’s paying for living space on campus and his meal ticket for the remainder of this semester.

“Phillip applied for a Foundation scholarship to cover room and board expenses, and was graciously awarded that scholarship based on financial need,” Coins said, adding an exceptional interview for an Individual Training Account Scholarship through the Workforce Investment Act helped him land funds to cover tuition, books and fees.

Each Hinds MI-BEST student is “adopted” by a community partner that helps students with needed support services.

Wallace’s community sponsor is Jackson-based Stewpot Community Services, which sent sack lunches and helped organize his transportation to class until the scholarship came through. The group worked with Working Together Jackson, a larger community initiative, to get involved in Wallace’s story as he got his life back in order.

“There are so many people like Phillip who need a program like MI-BEST to be able to get jobs that pay livable wages and have a career path,” said Heather Ivery, business administrator for Stewpot. “We are excited to be working with Hinds CC and Working Together Jackson to provide the community support these students need.”

“Philip Wallace is an example of a young man who is willing to take advantage of a second chance when it is given,” said Perry Perkins Jr., lead organizer for Working Together Jackson. “That is what the partnership between Working Together Jackson, its members, the City of Jackson and Hinds Community College is doing­—creating for Philip and others a pathway out of poverty.”

Wallace said being in a healthy learning environment the program affords its students has made all the difference.

“It’s been a learning experience, but it depends on what you want to learn from it and better yourself. You can learn from your mistakes, but only if you choose to.”

Registration in the program for the spring semester is 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 16 and Jan. 4 at the Raymond Campus. To reserve a spot, go to http://hub.hindscc.edu/mibest or email Angela.Hayes@hindscc.edu. Scholarships are available for students who qualify.

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