JACKSON – Wilburn Holmes wants to manage a hotel someday. Jordan Brown sees himself troubleshooting that hotel’s computers. Both know they can’t get there without a little help.
Providing that network is the goal of an expanded Minority Male Leadership Initiative at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center.
The grant-funded initiative on campus that has provided leadership training, career counseling and other services to help African-Americans succeed in college is building on a $1.6 million federal grant secured earlier in the year under the Title III, Part A, Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Formula Program of the U.S. Department of Education. The funds will enable the college to improve its instructional program and emerging technologies, plus augment student support services.
“I’m signing up because it might mean more job opportunities and connections made,” said Holmes, 19, of Jackson, a sophomore studying Hotel and Restaurant Management Technology. Staff has increased to six, adding a recruiting and outreach coordinator and additional tutors for Math and English.
“We’re hitting the ground running and want to continue to build membership and a positive image in the community,” said Aleisha Coins, M2M director and assistant PBI formula grant director. “My goal with this leadership initiative is to continue to facilitate the academic growth and development of these students and provide them with the tools needed to be impactful citizens.”
The M2M program is just one component of the PBI-Formula Grant, said Colleen Hartfield, executive assistant to the President for special projects, who is directing the PBI grant.
Among emerging technologies, the added funding aims to make a reality at JATC a learning laboratory, Tech Nest, which is to be geared for independent and group study.
“Our primary goal is to help students persist and graduate,” Hartfield said. “The M2M program and other support services offered through this grant focus on student engagement and helping students broaden their life experience as it relates to being a successful college student.”
For this semester’s new recruits, a chance to learn more about the working world through simply meeting new friends is enticing enough.
“It’s a chance for someone like me, who’s from a rural community, to have new experiences with this program,” said Brown, of Flora, a freshman studying Computer Network Technology.
For more information on the program, contact Aleisha Coins at 601.987.8109.M2M program at Hinds CC expands with new services