Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Foundation will hold its annual Day of Giving on Wednesday, November 15. Last year was the first year the college held the event.
The MGCCC Foundation is a nonprofit corporation founded to establish and administer endowment funds for educational services within the college’s district. The organization oversees a variety of scholarships for students, awarding $515,276.24 to more than 700 students during 2016.
MGCCC, 106-year-old institution, serves students in the four counties of George, Harrison, Jackson and Stone with 10 campuses and centers. Whether it is in traditional college classes or a career, technical, workforce or adult education program, Gulf Coast’s goal is to provide the very best learning opportunities for South Mississippi residents.
A vital piece of meeting that goal is providing scholarships through the MGCCC Foundation. “Sometimes we have to offer financial assistance to students, who for one reason or another, cannot afford the cost of tuition or book rental fees or other program costs,” said Tenesha Batiste, associate vice president of Institution Advancement. “That’s where the MGCCC Foundation steps in. That’s where we do the most good. We help students when other financial aid cannot. We fill in those gaps and make reaching students’ educational goals possible.”
These scholarships are awarded to students like Brianna Purnell, 18, of Gautier, who is in the college’s 3D Modeling and Design program. Purnell received an ACT scholarship and a Reflections scholarship. “I’ve always been involved in clubs at school, so when I started college, I knew that the Reflections team was something I wanted to be a part of.” Her commitments to the team include helping at events like Bulldog Day, campus orientations and Junior Preview Day. “I enjoy participating in recruitment activities and showing prospective students all MGCCC has to offer. I love it here, and I want to share that with them.” She said her scholarship funds help her cover the extras — books, class supplies and gas.
A’Niya Steele, of Gulfport, is a freshman who plans to enter the Nursing program. With both Reflections and Academic Excellence scholarships, she said her college costs at MGCCC are fully covered. “These scholarships make a huge difference for me, allowing me to complete my education without going into debt.” Steele said she hopes to become a traveling nurse. “I love to travel, see new things and meet new people. I’m also excited about getting to take some of my classes at the new Nursing & Simulation Center at Tradition next year.”
Nader Pahlevan is a freshman from Biloxi. A computer science and medicine major, Pahlevan said his scholarships make a huge difference. “As a pre-med student, I recognize that I have a long way to go and will have a lot of expense for college. That I am able to attend MGCCC and not incur debt because of the awesome scholarships I have means everything.” He has both an Honors Program scholarship and Academic Excellence scholarship.
“All of our scholarship students can tell you how much it means to them to be able to get an education,” Batiste says. “Each one of them is driven to succeed but need a little help reaching their goals. We want to continue providing them the opportunities they need to get there.”
That’s why donating to the MGCCC Foundation is so important. It helps students like Brianna, A’Niya and Nader. “Whether you can give a lot or a little, it helps our students,” says Batiste. “I would encourage everyone to contact us and find out what they can do to help. The most important fact is, you have benefited everyone concerned — yourself, your neighbors, thousands of Gulf Coast students and your local community college. With more than 28,000 served by the college each year, we need your support more than ever.”
For more information about making a donation or the Day of Giving, visit mgccc.edu/dayofgiving or call 601.928.6344.