They say knowledge is power and that’s just what Mississippi Power awarded to eight Gulf Coast and Pine Belt students today.
Mississippi Power gives us more than just our electricity. They introduced the Heritage Scholarship Program in 2016, giving minority students in the company’s service area a maximum of $1,500 a semester. Danielle Kimbrough with Mississippi Power PR said, “The students had to apply, submit things like their community service, their academics, so we pick the top of the top from schools all over.”
The scholarship is designed to give diverse applicants the opportunity to attend community colleges and enter careers in technical education. After graduating their programs, they’re set up to have a job in their field. “This scholarship programs helps us to build a relationship with those students so we’re following them while they’re in school. When they get out of school we hope they’re able to come work for us and that’s the importance of this program,” said Kimbrough.
The goal is to help build a stronger, more diverse workforce by giving these students easier access to climb the ladder to better career opportunities. Eighteen-year-old Kimari Sledge from Forrest County Agricultural High School says his passion for computers growing up was sparked again when he found the scholarship through his church. “Having this scholarship is providing the funds I need to go to school and get through school. It just helps me to get through school without any financial problems.”
Gulfport resident Toni Jones is accepting the scholarship on behalf of her son Justin who couldn’t make it to the luncheon. She says Justin took a while to get his career path started, but thanks to Mississippi power he is now clear on what he wants to do. “As a parent, I’m giddy. I’m excited because school can be very expensive. For opportunities to come along like this and to fall in our lap, it means the world knowing that Justin is going to get a jump start ahead of everybody else by having this scholarship.”