school district unveils plans for $1.2 million fab lab in vancleave

FabLab school district unveils plans for $1.2 million fab lab in vancleave

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Representatives from Chevron Pascagoula Refinery, the Fab Foundation and Jackson County School District unveiled plans for a $1.2 million Fab Lab in Vancleave, Miss.

A Fab Lab is a platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor and to invent. Fab Labs include a laser cutter that makes 2D and 3D structures, a sign cutter that plots in copper to make antennas and flex circuits, a high-resolution NC milling machine that makes circuit boards and precision parts, a large wood router for building furniture and housing, and a suite of electronic components and programming tools for low-cost, high-speed microcontrollers for on-site rapid circuit prototyping.

“Education and economic development are linked,” explained Refinery General Manager Bruce Chinn, “and it is essential that our future workforce be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities they’ll have before them. For our industry, emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math is critical.

“Our partnership with The Fab Foundation to create Fab Labs is one of many ways Chevron can help support the education of our future workforce and the quality of life in our community,” Chinn said.

The stationary Fab Lab and mobile unit will be available to students throughout Jackson County, and to the community. Learn more at www.fablabjacksoncounty.org

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partnering for progress: refinery awards MGCCC scholarships

MGCCC-scholarship-recipient-VHS partnering for progress: refinery awards  MGCCC scholarships

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Each year, the Chevron Pascagoula Refinery awards scholarships to students enrolled in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) process technology or maintenance programs.

This year, the refinery also awarded $2,000 in scholarships to four graduating high school seniors who will pursue studies in these programs.

“Our workforce development program and partnership with MGCCC has been very successful through the years,” explained Amy Brandenstein (PGPA). “By expanding the scholarships to high school students, we hope to encourage even more young people to consider a career in manufacturing.”

The scholarship will be offered again to seniors graduating in 2018. It is open to Jackson County residents, and is based on scholastic performance, class participation and attendance, leadership and teamwork skills, and communication.

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refinery employees donate hundreds of books for local children

Somos-books-35 refinery employees donate hundreds of books for local children

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The Somos Network collected 788 children’s books from refinery employees for Children’s Literacy Week. The books were delivered to the United Way for Jackson and George Counties for distribution.

A 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy study found that 44% of Hispanic adults had a “below basic” literacy level, which was the highest percent of any other race/ethnicity and a 9 percent decrease from 1992. The Somos Network is committed to changing this statistic by promoting literacy in future generations.

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United Way For Jackson & George Counties Has Raised Half Million For Campaign

Ricky-Browning-chairman-of-the-board United Way For Jackson & George Counties Has Raised Half Million For Campaign

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The first of October marked the halfway point of the 2017 campaign for the United Way for Jackson & George Counties. A total of $562,355 has been raised by this point.

Funds raised throughout the annual campaign support 19 agencies and programs in Jackson and George counties. “These nineteen agencies serve the communities with programs that support child advocacy, family sustainability, physical and mental health services and so much more,” said Carolyn Moore, Chief Executive Officer of United Way for Jackson & George Counties.

The community is getting involved in assuring the success of the campaign from large industries like Chevron, Ingalls, MS Power, Zachry and Singing River Health Systems, who conduct workplace campaigns, Old Hickory givers, which are individuals who contribute $1000 or more, to the Youth United Way Chapters of Moss Point, Pascagoula and Ocean Springs High Schools, who are hosting the “At the Lanes! Bowling Tournament” on October 21, 2017 for their contribution.

Visit www.unitedwayjgc.org  to learn more about the United Way agencies or to support this year’s campaign.

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National Coffee Day: Where to Get Free and Discounted Coffee on the Gulf Coast

fullsizeoutput_5 National Coffee Day: Where to Get Free and Discounted Coffee on the Gulf Coast

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Coffee aficionados- today is your day! September 29 is recognized for ‘National Coffee Day’ and we’ve found some spots on the Gulf Coast that are offering free or discounted coffee. Enjoy! 
 

Dunkin’ Doughnuts — On Friday, get a medium-sized hot coffee for free when you purchase a medium/large/extra large cup of hot coffee.

 
Krispy Kreme: It’s a National Coffee Weekend at participating locations. Get one free hot brewed or small iced premium blend per day from 9/29-10/1
 
McDonald’s: For a limited time, get a small specialty coffee for $2 at participating locations. Additionally, there are coupons for a free medium McCafé with any purchase in the McDonald’s smartphone app. 
 
Starbuck’s — Get 20 percent off your favorite coffees on Sept. 29.
 

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Local and National Talents came out for the 8th Annual MS Songwriters Festival

DSCF7761 Local and National Talents came out for the 8th Annual MS Songwriters Festival

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If you love music, then the 8th Annual Mississippi Songwriters Festival was for you.  A festive crowd joined in to see new local and regional talents singing their original songs across Ocean Springs for the weekend long 2017 event.  Notable acts Sugarcane Jane and Grayson Capps brought their powerful songwriting styles to the stage, along with so many new local musicians.  Nearly one hundred performers played the festival Sept 14 – 17.

The songs were about the state of Mississippi, the Gulf Coast, and just life in general.  This festival was a chance to see local musicians who you may not see all year, new talents trying out new songs, as well as award winning recording artists from Nashville playing their hits that have been recorded and have reached the music charts.  Local songwriter Eddie Miller was there and performed his heartwarming song about the state, “Mississippi”.

Ocean Springs hosts the music event coordinated by George Cumbest and Darwin Nelson.  Organizing a music event with over a half dozen stages of live music is not easy, but the event went off without missing a beat.  A fun crowd delighted in the great sounds all weekend.

Delta State University was represented by Professor Tricia Walker and Senior Carrie Lynn Stanford.  They both offered wonderful songs about life in their own style.  Hope to see y’all next year for this free “no cover charge” family festival.

Carrie Lynn Stanford performs at the Finale of 8th Annual MS Songwriters Festival.

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Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus Announces 6th Annual Young Artist Competition

The Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus has announced their annual Young Artists Vocal Competition for Saturday, October 28 at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Jefferson Davis Campus) in Gulfport, Mississippi. 

The competition encourages vocalists ages 15-25  from all surrounding areas on the Gulf Coast (Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George County) to try out for the competition. 

Singers must prepare a solo from George Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, to be performed at the competition before an audience. Judges will rate each soloist for vocal techniques and presentation. Winners will receive an invitation to perform their solo with the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus and Orchestra in December 2017. 

The Young Artists Vocal Competition is part of the Messiah Chorus’ ongoing educational program which seeks to stimulate interest in classical music among young singers. The Chorus hopes to instill the tradition of singing Handel’s Messiah in succeeding generations. 

Scholarships will also be awarded to to further their education or musical pursuits as well as complimentary student memberships with the Gulf Coast Messiah Chorus. 

Over the past five years, winning soloists have received more than $20,000 in scholarships funded in part by grants from the Bacon-McCarty Foundation.

Interested singers can find more information about the competition, including registration forms, at the Chorus website: new.messiahchorus.org. The final registration deadline is October 6, 2017. 

For further information, please contact YAVC Co-Chair, Roseanne Johnson-Fazo, at 228-243-1209.

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A Challenge to End Hunger

Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly known as Bay Area Food Bank, will be hosting their first Mississippi Chef Challenge on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Biloxi Civic Center in Biloxi, MS from 6-9 p.m.

About a year ago, the organization changed its name to better suit its growth of helping to end hunger across 24 counties along the Gulf Coast. 

Their website explains that the event is held during September to raise awareness for Hunger Action Month- a nationwide hunger-relief campaign set forth by their corporate affiliate, Feeding America. 

The chef challenge will feature 11 chefs from local casinos and restaurants to prepare a dish in one of the four categories: appetizer, entree, soup and dessert. The guests will sample the dishes and vote on their favorite chef in each category along with an overall “People’s Choice” category. In addition, they will also have qualified judges select a “Judge’s Choice” winner. Complimentary beer and wine will be served, so guests must be 21 & over. 

There will also be a silent auction, live entertainment, a photo booth and lots more. 

“We are really embracing the opportunity for community engagement and organization awareness. We want to be able to share our mission, tell guests who we are and the work we do within the extended counties”, says Haley Buchanan of Feeding the Gulf Coast. 

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $75 per person. 

“This event will allow us to continue efforts with our programs such as Backpack Program and our partner food pantries-ultimately leading to bring in more food to the people on the Gulf Coast”, says Buchanan. 

For more information on Feeding the Gulf Coast and The Chef Challenge visit, feedingthegulfcoast.org.

 

 

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Pascagoula Doctor’s Inspiring Story Featured on ABC’s ’20/20′

Last week, an ABC News “20/20” film crew arrived at Singing River Hospital to interview Dr. Tyler Sexton, a staff pediatrician who overcame the odds and became a doctor, despite his battle with disabling cerebral palsy. 

ABC is using his inspirational story to help promote a series of their own, “The Good Doctor”, which is set to debut on Sept. 25 at 9:00 p.m. 

“The Good Doctor” is about a young surgeon with autism and Savant syndrome and his struggles to overcome his disabilities, while excelling at his job in the pediatric surgical unit. 

ABC will use the short segment on Pascagoula’s Dr. Sexton, and profiles on other doctors who have overcome incredible odds, as companion pieces to the new show, Singing River spokeswoman Georgia Storey said.

Dr. Sexton has had real-life struggles himself before achieving his goal of becoming a pediatrician. 

Sexton was born 28 weeks premature. As a result, his lungs had collapsed. The lack of oxygen to his brain affected the lower portion of his body. After falling 4-6 times a day and undergoing 16 surgeries, the doctors prepared Sexton’s parents of the possibility of him not making it. “They said if I did survive I would be blind, physically/mentally disabled and would not be able to walk. But thank God they were wrong!”, says Sexton. 

At 18 months, Sexton was not able to sit up by himself. His parents took him to to the doctor for an MRI and the results came back with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. 

We all have handicaps 

Sexton’s dream of becoming a pediatrician was fueled by wanting to give hope to patients instead of worst-case scenarios. He’s a rare pediatrician who specializes in wound and burn care on the Mississippi Coast. 

Sexton wears Marvel superhero t-shirts to connect with his kids and show them we’re all superheroes. “Everyone is handicapped. We all struggle with something and these kids are no different.”, says Sexton. Dr. Sexton understands these kids and what they’ve been through. “I understand how they feel. I was there where they were. I can identify with them to let them know it’s okay to laugh and cry; it’s okay to be vulnerable. It gives me a touch across the board for kids and their parents”, says Sexton. 

A superhero himself 

Dr. Sexton is a super hero on his own, overcoming the prejudice of institutions of medical education in the United States. 

He has always been intellectually sharp, but the prejudices behind his disability gave his advisor and other students reasons to try and hold him back. 

“When I tried to go out and interview for medical schools, I applied a dozen different institutions and was rejected by all of them on the basis of my disability. They told me I’ll never become a doctor and people won’t come to me because of my cerebral palsy”, says Sexton. 

He was rejected at several medical schools and thrown out of rotations with medical students, because he had a service dog. But the law was on his side, and he succeeded.

Working through with the kids and adults spurred him to write his book, “God Bless These Little Legs”, which is how an ABC producer discovered Sexton and his story. 

“My disability gives me credibility. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it,” he said. “Without cerebral palsy I wouldn’t be the man who I am today.” 

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