Cooperative Energy Pledges $187,500
to Mississippi Scholars Tech Master Program
Cooperative Energy has pledged $187,500 over the next five years to the Mississippi Scholars Tech Master program. The funding, which will be made in five $37,500 increments, will help Mississippi high school students prepare to take the next steps in career technical training.

The Mississippi Scholars Tech Master program is an initiative of the Mississippi Economic Council and the Public Education Forum of Mississippi. The donation was announced at the recent MEC Hobnob event attended by more than 1,500 business and community leaders from across the state. Mississippi Scholars Tech Master is designed to provide technical skills to students who plan to enter the workforce after high school graduation or receive a certification from a community college.
A Message from Vickie Powell
Thanks to your dedication and support of the Public Education Forum of Mississippi, we’ve been able to expand the Mississippi Scholars and/or Tech Master programs to all 82 counties in Mississippi!   

The goal of both programs is to provide a sound foundation for all students so that they will have more options upon graduation from high school. Mississippi Scholars provides a focus on the STEM - science, technology, engineering and math – curriculum. The program started in 2003 with 2 pilot school districts and recognized 24 graduates in 2004. Today, more than 50,000 high school graduates have received this designation.

The Tech Master program is designed to emphasize a tech-prep course of study, which provides technical skills to students who plan to enter the workforce after high school graduation or pursue post-secondary workforce certification. The program started in 2014 with 7 pilot counties and recognized 285 graduates the same year. Today, the Tech Master program has recognized nearly 7,000 graduates with the designation. Both programs are committed to helping Mississippi students prepare for the workforce or higher education and acquire the necessary skills to thrive in the workplace.  

As the year comes to a close, we want to say THANK YOU for your support as we move toward creating a more highly skilled workforce.  


Vickie Powell
Senior Vice President, Foundations 
Mississippi Economic Council 
Simpson County Honors 2019 Mississippi Scholars Graduates
Simpson County Scholars of Simpson County honored the Class of 2019 Scholars at a reception Monday, April 29, 2019 at First Baptist Church Magee.

A large crowd was on hand to honor Seniors Scholars from Magee, Mendenhall, Simpson County Academy, and Simpson County Technical Center.

Students must meet certain criteria to become scholars. MS Scholars’ mission is to encourage and motivate all high school students to complete a defined, rigorous academic course of study that prepares them for successful transition to college, university coursework or vocational and technical training necessary to enter today’s competitive job market.

Patrice Boykin, President of the Scholars Committee, welcomed and recognized special guests present for the night’s event. Mendenhall’s Aldermen, Magee’s Mayor, School Board members, County Supervisors, Superintendent, and a State Senator were some of the elected officials present to honor these seniors.

Zach Holbrook, SCA Student Body President, opened the evening in prayer.

Richard Rankin, Secretary, gave an overview of the scholars program and background on how scholarships are funded.

Supervisor District 2, Danny Craft, introduced former Scholars Christian King and Bradley Boykin that spoke to the Class of 2019 about how being a former MS Scholar has impacted their lives. 

Dr. Anika Floyd, Copiah Lincoln Community College, introduced the night's speaker Dr. Dewayne Middleton, Vice President Copiah Lincoln Community College Simpson Campus. 

Dr. Middleton encouraged the students to apply themselves and attend college.  Middleton advised if college was not your route to make sure you give your all to whatever you endeavor, workforce or school.
Principals from each school announced the students that met the requirements to become MS Scholars and presented them with medallions and certificates.

Congratulations to these fine students who worked hard and encouraged themselves to become Scholars. The committee would like to say thank you to all schools and the community for supporting the program.

A special thank you to First Baptist Church Magee for allowing use of the facility for the evening event.
2019 In Review

Thanks to the support of our donors, during 2019 the Public Education Forum participated in College and Career Fairs across the state, including: JumpStart, Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo (Northeast Mississippi), Gulf Coast Pathways2Possibilities, Holmes County Reality Fair/Career Fair, P2P DeSoto County Career Expo, Heidelberg High School Career Day, Petal High School Career Fair, Central MS - Jackson P2P, and Amite County Career Tech Center, connecting to approximately 27,000 including students, parents and business leaders across the state.  
Amite County Students Presentation and Group Photo
Students at Heidelberg High Prepare for Inaugural
College and Career Day
“This was our first College and Career Fair. We are excited for the support and participation from all presenters. Presenters provided information on MS Scholars, Tech Master, STAR, military careers, grant information, college access and employability skills. 

Approximately 240 students grades 9-12 attended the presentations.”

Javelle R. Hawkins 
School Counselor
 Heidelberg School
DeSoto County P2P
DeSoto Central Students
“The best school in the county and competitive in all things sports. We are an A district.”

From Left: DeSoto Central students Skylar Tilman, Taylor Robinson, and Jamaica Halsey.
DeSoto County Future Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master Graduates
According to these DeSoto County Students - "Class of 2020- Best Class Ever"
DeSoto Christian Academy Seniors
Lewisburg Seniors
Hernando High School

According to these Hernando High School girls: #dont miss school.  Missing school is a habit and you miss class work and lessons.

From left: Davie Ann Stinson and Kate Forrest Grehan, 8th graders at Hernando Middle School.
Olive Branch Students
Tunica Middle School
Southaven Scholars and Tech Masters Head to
College and Military Careers
Holmes County Holds CTE Fair
The Public Education Forum of Mississippi participated in the 3rd Annual Career Exploration Field Day on November 22 on the campus of Holmes County Career and Technical Center. Approximately 100 students transition through the Career Fair in various demonstration areas. 

"This was a great opportunity for students to learn while interacting with business/industry professionals. This interactive activity allowed for career professionals to share with students what the expectations are within their field of expertise."

Ms. Shintri Hathorn is the Director and Rashunda Archer are the Career Counselor HCCTC.
Entergy Lineman Matthew Breland Shares Entergy Career Opportunities with Holmes County Students
Career and Technical Education –
Holmes County Business Students Mobilize to Learn
On September 23, 2019, the Business Fundamentals and Management classes of the Holmes County Career and Technical Center toured the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Jackson. General Manager, Shawn Crochran and the Sales Director Paulette McCant provided students with an overview of the hotel industry. The Human Resources’ Director, Rima Barrett, also provided students with job-interviewing techniques. A Holmes County native and 2004 graduate of William Sullivan High School, James McGee serves as the Business Travel Sales Manager at the Hilton. Mr. McGee provided students with a comprehensive tour of the Hilton and provided management and operations details to students.  

The students also toured the Mississippi Music Wax Museum at the Iron Horse Grill Restaurant. During this tour, students also dined and learned more about the restaurant industry. All components of this field experience allowed students to correlate what they are learning in class each day with real world experiences. Ms. Aleen N. Benson, Instructor, accompanied her Business students during their tours.  
Front to Back, Left to Right:
Starr Morton, Ramayia Shamble, Kashianna Mabry, Deondria Sly, Ashanti Rowe, Tienna Collins, Shanterria Gipson, ChristyAnna Thomas, Jekoria Williams, Jakira Landfair, Zanashia Hawkins, Mr. James McGee (Business Sales Manager), Roshundra Young, Cleotice Rockett, Shamarques Hawkins, Rima Barrett (Human Resource Director), Jayden Jordan, Myesha Ross, Tierra Jolly, John MItchell, Markavious Kyles
Petal High School
College & Career Day
According to these students:
"What's next Petal High School Seniors?"
Gulf Coast P2P and Mississippi Scholars/Tech Master
Gulfport High School Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master

Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master volunteers Ebby Johnson (left) and Dameon Holmes (right) from Gulfport High School. 

Ebby Johnson, Theater Pathway Student - “I want to become successful in whatever I do or may be”.
Dameon Holmes, Education Pathway Student - “ I want to be a lifelong learner and a productive member of society.”
Pass Christian Middle School Students Show Excitement for Mississippi Scholars

According to these students, "Pass Christian Middle - Number on the coast!"
Stone County 8th Graders

“The future begins here” - Stone County 8th Graders
Derek C. Read
Career Academy Specialist/CTE Counselor, PLTW & Internship Academy Administrator
PGSD College & Career Technical Institute
“I left industry after 15 years to be a CTE instructor. After Katrina, I got my Masters in School Counseling to become a CTE Counselor to help students discover their passion and help them build a pathway to a career. Seeing the culmination of several years of partnerships, business/industry meetings and involving as many hands as possible in this process really motivates me every day.”
Pascagoula/Gautier School District Achievement
MGCCC Full Tuition Scholarships 2018-2019:
71 Awarded for a Total of $497,000

Tech Master Scholars for 2018-2019:
96 Total (49 from PHS & 47 from GHS)

MS Student Nurse Mentorship Academy Scholarship valued at $3500 ea. 2018-2019:
Sierra Harris, Madison Thompson, Lauren Shuster, Maliya Keys, Karelys Colon-Santiago, Rema Williams, Kierra Wilson, Natalie Greenwald

NCCER HVAC Certifications 2018-2019:
Letrell Buton, Luis Cabrera, Khadijah Harris, Evan Hatten, Trace Howell, Hayden Jones, Jalen Leverette, Kala Marshburn, Jalin Nguyen, Anthony Rojo, Sean Smith, Daniel Colon-Pagan, Ryan Goff, Adam Herrington, Lucas Majure, Cole Nenninger, Kyle Sweeting, Brennon Swindell, Seth Watson

NCCER Construction Certifications 2018-2019:
Celeste Anderson, Percy Barberena, KeShawn Belcher, Clayton Fagan, Leann Jenkins, Adrian Jiminez, Demarco Lesueur, Emilio Martinez, Brayan Ovalle, Omarion Polk, JaDarrius Reed, Solan Shuemaker, Joborio Todd, Andrew Bond, George Webb

NCCER Welding Certifications 2018-2019:
Saul Avila, Zavier Dean, Kevin Delgado, Halie Green, Joniya Hackman, Fredrick Miller, Taylor Miller, Grant Moore, Nick Gentry, Timothy Johnston, Kaleb Jones, Dyenasty Shannon, Aderlin Solar Cedeno

National Career Readiness 2018-2019 (Silver & above) Certifications:
9 – Platinum, 20 – Gold, 58 - Silver

Ingalls Maritime Students receiving 3hrs College Credit 2018-2019:
Joshua Arroyo 3hrs, Miguel Babin 6 hrs, Kane Bradley 3 hrs, Jecsen Briseno 6 hrs, James Cady 3hrs, Christopher Chestnut 6 hrs, Tamya Edwards 6 hrs, Christopher Edwards 6 hrs, Drake Killingsworth 3 hrs, Michael Liciago 6 hrs, Kelvin Lopez 3 hrs, Isaiah Rainey 6 hrs, Wilbert Ramos 3 hrs, Cody Richardson 3 hrs, James Stevens 3 hrs, Arkelis Wilson 3 hrs, Dionte Polk 3 hrs, Sebastian Tineo 3 hrs, Alexis Mendez 3 hrs

Ingalls Maritime Students receiving National Recognized credentials 2018-2019:
Joshua Arroyo – 9, Miguel Babin – 15, Kane Bradley – 17, Jecsen Briseno – 16, James Cady – 11, Leah Chestnut – 14, Christopher Chestnut – 8, Julissa Delgado – 15, Tamya Edwards – 18, Christopher Edwards – 16, Kedric Peay – 5, Drake Killingworth – 8, Michael Liciago – 18, Kelvin Lopez – 9, Isaiah Rainey – 18, Wilbert Ramos – 6, Cody Richardson – 10, Bernard Roberson – 6, James Stevens – 5, Arkelis Wilson - 9
Central Mississippi P2P
Jackson/Central Mississippi Students attend P2P
First Lady Deborah Bryant Visits Mississippi Scholars and Mississippi Scholars Tech Master Booth
From Left: Vickie Powell, Senior Vice President, Foundations; Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant; and Rosie Thomas, Manager, Foundation Programs and Coordinator, Education Resources were on hand to welcome students at Jackson-Central Mississippi P2P.
MEC Board Member Amy Reed Connects with Students

MEC board member Amy Reed, Entergy Mississippi Public Affairs, connects with students at Central Mississippi P2P.
Imagine the Possibilities -
Northeast Mississippi Scholars & Tech Master
Congratulations to Mike Clayborne and the CREATE Foundation on 10 incredibly successful years with the Toyota Wellsprings project

The Toyota Endowment Funds is the $50 million gift Toyota announced at their groundbreaking in 2007. The funds created the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund, managed by the CREATE Foundation
What is the Public Education Forum (PEF)?

The Public Education Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan education policy research group created by a broad cross-section of business, education and political leaders in Mississippi. Founded in 1989, the Forum is committed to being the leading independent force for public education in the state.

The mission of the Public Education Forum is "Committed to Excellence in Mississippi's Public Schools."  
Benefits for Students of Mississippi Scholars and 
Mississippi Scholars Tech Master Programs 
  1. Medallion for each program
  2. Certificate for each program
  3. Preference given in the hiring process for Mississippi Scholars Tech Master 
  4. (Ingalls Shipbuilding, Sanderson Farms, United Furniture)
  5. Designation on high school transcript and high school diploma for each program
  6. Give back through community service for each program

The ultimate goal is not only to produce a more tech-savy young workforce, but also to foster well-rounded, civic-minded individuals who are job or college ready. MEC encourages communities to partner with their local businesses to offer college scholarships and incentives for Tech Master graduates.
Medallion that is given to
Mississippi Scholars Graduates.
Medallion that is given to
Mississippi Scholars Tech Master Graduates.
It pays to get students workforce ready! Here's how: With the new Success is a Cycle, Are YOU In? program from Mississippi Scholars, Mississippi Scholars Tech Master, and Get on the Grid! The powerpoint is available at  and on  YouTube.
Learn more about Mississippi's most in-demand careers at
Get started today!

For more information on how to get involved with Mississippi Scholars or Tech Master, contact Vickie Powell, Senior Vice President of Foundations.
Public Education Forum of Mississippi
Mississippi Scholars/Mississippi Scholars Tech Master
248 E. Capitol Street, Suite 940 - Jackson, Mississippi 39201
P.O. Box 23276 - Jackson, Mississippi 39225-3276
Phone: 601-969-0022 - 1-800-748-7626
Fax: 601-353-0247 - 1-888-717-2809
Click Here  for PEF Website