Explosion of Excellence honors top graduates and Pascagoula victims

Sarah Carag
Sarah Carag

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Two Pascagoula High students who died in a tragic accident over the weekend were remembered at a scholarship award ceremony in Gautier Tuesday night.

The 23rd Annual Explosion of Excellence honored the top ten percent of high school graduates from across Jackson County.

One hundred sixty nine seniors received $250 scholarships.

Just hours before the program started the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Foundation decided to also award two $1,000 scholarships in memory of Brandon Rich and Caleb Sweeten.

Sarah Carag from Gautier High is the recipient of the Caleb Sweeten award. She was chosen from a random drawing.

Mary Rogers from Ocean Springs High received the Brandon Rich award.

Rich and Sweeten died in a knee boarding accident in the Pascagoula River on Sunday.

There were also two surprise $5,000 scholarships plus, 23 students were randomly drawn to receive $1,000 scholarships.

The program was hosted by the Jackson County Chamber, the Ocean Springs Chamber, and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

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