JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - $14,000 in scholarships along with $11,000 in scholarship renewals were awarded Thursday in Jackson County.
That money is going to operations process technology and maintenance process technology students for instructional classes that have been in place at MGCCC Jackson County Campus for over ten years. For Chevron and MGCCC, the scholarships granted through this partnership provide key workforce development for both the school and the Jackson County refinery.
“There are many students in our area that cannot afford to take that next step after high school. This is an ideal opportunity for students to get the training that they need to go into all sorts of different businesses and industries across the coast," said Amy Brandenstein, Chevron Community Affairs spokesperson. “The community college does a really great job training them so that they have that great foundation when they come to us or other industries."
The value of the program wasn’t lost on anyone in Thursday’s celebration. MGCCC instructor and Chevron retiree Essex “EJ” Miskel sees the value of these scholarships each and every day in the students enrolled in his classes.
“Chevron works hand-in-hand with us to give some incentive to our students by giving them scholarships and rewarding them for doing well in their classes and everything. It also gives them some hope to move into a tremendous field right now," Miskel said.
Without the assistance offered by the scholarships, these educational opportunities would be difficult to attain, if not impossible, for some of the students enrolled in the program.
“It would be possible but it definitely would be harder. So this is a tremendous, you know, honor to be selected for the scholarship,” said Aaron Hester, an Instrumentation and Control student at MGCCC.
Relief from a supportive financial source is what has helped Electrical Engineering MGCCC/MSU student, Sydney Lee.
“It was a great honor to be selected to this opportunity. I, unfortunately, found out about it my last semester at Gulf Coast. I would have hoped to have had it beforehand, but, it’s a lot less money that my parents have to put out for tuition," Lee told WLOX.
Chevron Refinery and MGCCC believe that the students honored on Thursday are helping to provide an employment pipeline for jobs right here in South Mississippi.