Summerfest at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center on June 18 brought out a broad cross-section of the community seeking to brush up to move up in life.
“When I got out of high school, I was happy to say, ‘Wow, I did it!’,” said Qumone Pitts, 18, fresh out of Murrah High School this past spring. “But, coming to college will be a big step for me.”
Pitts was among about 250 high school students and others in Jackson who showed for the come-and-go campus recruiting event.
Summerfest, hosted by the African American Male Leadership Initiative (M2M), gave prospective students of all ages a chance to find out about everything they need to enroll at the college. They met with Jackson Campus faculty and staff, learn about admissions, majors, financial aid and registration.
Pitts attended Summerfest with Janna Williams, a graduation coach with Jackson Public Schools.
“This gets students like Qumone out into the public and in front of people who can help them get started in college,” Williams said. “You can only do so much through the website.”
Students got information on the campus’ 25 academic and career-tech programs, student clubs, student services departments and other aspects of campus life.
For current students Tasha Collins and Marsha Currie, the event provided a way to learn more about what’s available on campus while they take a summer break from studying.
“I was a CNA for a while, but now I want to find out about what I need to do to expand into the healthcare field,” Collins said.
Currie earned her High School Equivalency credential through Hinds and is now enrolled in a Logistics program on campus, which can open the door to a career with high earnings potential.
“Logistics is awesome,” Currie said. “I want to work at Continental Tire.”
The event also brought out those who sought to build onto their careers by earning additional credentials.
“I’m an LPN currently, but I’m here looking to find out about more specified fields in healthcare,” said Derrick Lindsey, of Jackson.
The effort also aimed to shore up enrollment as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The purpose of the JATC Summerfest was to introduce community partners and prospective students to the academic and career programs that we offer at Hinds. In addition, our goal with the Summerfest was to showcase our clubs and organizations and show the community all the wraparound support services that will be available to them if they attend Hinds. Lastly, our mission is to empower members of the Jackson community to obtain a certification or degree. We want our students to become productive citizens who earn a sustainable wage,” said Dr. Aleisha Escobedo, director of the M2M program.
M2M is funded by the college’s PBI Formula Grant.