June 20, 2016 Rotogram: 43

MSU Athletics

Mississippi State Athletics has great momentum under Director Scott Stricklin. David Boles will introduce him.

Next Week: Passing the Gavel

The last meeting of the Rotary program year marks a transition in leadership. President Zach will pass the gavel and bell to incoming President Briar.

For the Record—June 13

Attendance:                                          64.1%

Present — 98 (44 exempt)

Absent — 84 (16 exempt, 12 honorary)

Guests: Member guests were Elizabeth Howell
of John Robert Arnold, Brent Thompson of Frank Chiles and Gena Lea Standridge of O. A. Cleveland. Guest of the club was James Carskadon, Starkville Daily News.

Meeting Notes

  • President Zach requested prayers for the family of long-time Rotarian and former MSU Vice President Chester McKee who died early the previous week in Colorado.
  • Volunteers are still needed for the annual district foundation and membership conference, which we will be hosting along with the Columbus Club on July 15-16 at The Mill.

Club Supports SOAR

President Zach presented the Club’s $775 check supporting SOAR to Rotarian David Boles.

Representing the Starkville-Oktibbeha Achieving Results affiliate of the CREATE Foundation, he said the donation would be used to support two major projects: (1) The “Imagine the Possibilities” Career Expo for northeast Mississippi 8th grade students; and (2) A program and speakers in schools focusing on “drugs, drinking and driving.”

Women in Rotary Brunch

The Women in Rotary brunch in Jackson on June 29 features Dr. Sylvia Whitlock, the first female club president in Rotary’s history.

As the second woman to join the ex-Rotary Club of Duarte, Calif., in 1982, she was instrumental in the 1987 Supreme Court case that struck down Rotary’s exclusion of women. The Duarte Club had been expelled from Rotary International for admitting women.

Whitlock later became district governor. She has addressed more than 25 Rotary District Conferences, Zone Institutes, the 2013 International Assembly and RI’s 2016 World Peace Conference.

All Rotarians, male and female, are invited to the luncheon from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Country Club of Jackson.

Reservations need to be made with District Governor Barbara Travis on or before Thursday, June 23. The cost is $30.00 and must be paid by check to Rotary District 6820. Credit cards are not accepted.

CREATE Foundation Calls on Youth to Imagine the Possibilities of Careers

June 13 — It was a homecoming of sorts for Dr. Larry Anderson, a dynamic and enthusiastic consultant for the unique and exciting “Imagine the Possibilities” career expo to be held in Tupelo on October 4—6.

Anderson is a native of Starkville and a graduate of Starkville High School who earned three degrees at MSU. He later served as teacher and principal at Armstrong Middle School. Before launching his presentation on the expo, the speaker drew appreciative laughter as he reminisced about experiences with many in the audience who were old friends, classmates, students, or teachers.

He remembered “little Briar Jones” and wondered how Briar grew up so quickly. He said John Robert Arnold was his mentor and he served in the National Guard with “Capt. Roy Ruby, and Lt. Frank Chiles.”

Seeds for the expo were planted when Toyota pledged $50 million for enhancing educational opportunities in the counties surrounding the Blue Springs plant. Toyota’s Wellspring Education Fund is administered as a fund of Create Foundation. It provides $5 million a year for ten years, $1 million to be spent in the current year and $4 million to go into an endowment fund.

Anderson said that research showed that students in the 8th grade would benefit greatly if they could learn about opportunities available to them after graduation. So, the planners designed the career expo program. It wouldn’t be a “pamphlet and flyer” show. It would be 100 percent interactive, offering a hands-on experience the students had never had before.

The first year was for the three counties most closely associated with the plant (Pontotoc, Lee, and Union). It proved so successful, that last year schools in four adjacent counties (Prentiss, Monroe, Chickasaw, and Itawamba) were invited.  “We had 127 companies show up for the 2-day expo in the BancorpSouth Arena.

“We wondered about expanding to all 17 CREATE counties in 2016. We thought it would be too expensive, but when we put the numbers to it, cost would be only $76,000.”

This year, 7,500 8th graders from schools in all 17 counties are expected for hands-on, minds-on experiences in 18 career pathways over the 3-day event. “All students get a floor plan and are directed to make two choices of career paths they want to follow.”

All representatives of companies and industries are to serve as “mentors for a minute” and to give students the hands-on experience.

Anderson said among the most popular paths last year was health. The latest daVinci robotic surgery equipment was brought to the expo. Surgeons from North Mississippi Medical Center wanted to come for training but were turned away – “this was strictly for the students.” Several of the med staff showed up, however, as observers. One company brought a cockpit of a 747; another had the latest in over-the-road truck cabs for students to try out. MSU had live animals and poultry in its booth.

An excellent video of last year’s show gave Rotarians a real feel of the successful 2015 event.

In summary, Anderson said that “we want students to have a chance to imagine the possibilities and the relationship to the real world. We want to correlate the school experience with authentic realities in the workplace. And we want to connect youth with career leaders in the community.”

He invited Rotarians (and their businesses) to support the 2016 expo. He said Armstrong will have 388 eighth-graders next year and Starkville Academy 38. That would total just $5,978 for Starkville students.

“We invite you to become a sponsor or a volunteer,” Anderson said. “We need volunteers to serve as security officers. Volunteers serve 2-hour blocks of time.”

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Ruth and Keith Remy for handling last week’s Rotogram and to Jeff Donald for wrangling the AV.

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