More than 500 graduating high school seniors from throughout Hancock County gathered today at the Bay St. Louis Community Hall for the 6th Annual Hancock Chamber Recognition Breakfast, hosted by the Education Committee.
Chaired by Raymunda Barnes, Assistant Vice President of the Hancock Center of Pearl River Community College, the Hancock Chamber Education Committee also supports the Excel by 5 early learning program, and sponsors the Spring Bookworms Program promoting the love of reading for 1,000 1st and 3rd grade students. Each May, scholarships are awarded to one deserving High School Senior at each high school for outstanding character, respect for peers and faculty and academic excellence. In August, they sponsor the Annual Teacher Appreciation Dinner and Teachers Make a Difference Grants Program.
“The programs the Hancock Chamber Education Committee supports are critical to educational outcomes to insure that our teachers and students have the resources, support and encouragement they need to reach their highest potential,” Barnes said.
Community leaders and governmental officials were also on hand at this morning’s breakfast to extend their congratulations to graduating classes of Bay High School, Hancock High School, Our Lady Academy, and St. Stanislaus.
Mississippi’s First Lady Deborah Bryant, was the keynote speaker. Mrs. Bryant is an enthusiastic proponent for Education in Mississippi and lends her time and efforts to supporting schools throughout the state. She is also active in supporting a wide variety of Healthcare issues, including teenage pregnancy, breast cancer, and disabilities. After Mrs. Bryant spoke at the breakfast, she went to South Hancock Elementary to read to kindergarten and 1st grade students.
Dr. Scott Alsobrooks of PRCC and Chairman of the Hancock County Workforce Committee, announced that work is underway now to become an ACT Certified Work Ready Community. He invited the graduating seniors to find out more about how they can obtain certificates that will help them pursue technical careers.
Through this comprehensive workforce program, communities develop a “pipeline” of skilled workers who meet the needs of local businesses and industries. This tool is used throughout the nation to develop a more productive workforce and encourage economic growth.
The event was made possible through the support of six Chamber member sponsors: Digital Engineering, Bancorp South-Stewart Sneed Hewes, Compton Engineering, Pearl River Community College, Bay Town Inn, and Gretchen and Ron Thorpe.