Vietnam Veterans Honor JSCC

Several members of the Vietnam Veterans of America came to Jackson State Community College Thursday, Oct. 30. Their purpose was to present a plaque to the college for support they received in a recent event hosted by the group.

On Sept. 30, the veterans group held a town hall meeting in Ayers Auditorium at Jackson State. This event was named Agent Orange after the infamous chemical that was widely used during the Vietnam War. It was later determined that this chemical was the root of many illnesses in veterans and birth defects in their children. Attendees of the event were given information pertaining to available benefits.

More than 220 people attended the four-hour event. This far exceeded the expectations of the group noted Charles Chance, the president of the Jackson chapter of Vietnam Veterans. This is why we wanted to present this token of appreciation to the college, he continued. Everyone was so helpful and ensured we had everything needed to have a successful event.

The group was also very appreciative of Dr. Bruce Blandings service during the Vietnam era. The camaraderie between Blanding and the other vets was evident as they all exchanged their military experiences in the presidents conference room. Dr. Blanding told the group that the college appreciated their service to the country and could expect support for any future events.

Lexington Students Answer Call of Civic Duty

The JSCC Lexington Center was recently contacted by the Lifeline regional coordinator regarding critical shortages in the West Tennessee blood supply. This concern was relayed to the student body and a date was set for a blood drive at the center. The students came through in a big way.

On October 28, Lifeline buses were parked at the center and stayed busy for several hours. In total, Lifeline reported collecting 114 units from students and staff in Lexington. In addition to the 114 students that donated, there were 36 additional students that attempted to donate but were unable due to various reasons. Students at the Lexington Center are commended for their community activism and spirit of philanthropy in making the blood drive so successful.

Congratulations to the students and staff of the Lexington Center for this outstanding accomplishment!

Mentors Needed as Deadline Nears

While the deadline to apply for TN Promise is upon us, there is also a deadline to apply as a mentor for the program. This is a crucial piece of the program. TN Promise is about much more than a student being guaranteed two years of paid tuition.

The program hinges greatly upon ensuring that students, who have had no familial connection to post-secondary education, are given the direction they need to complete all the steps of registration necessary before they ever step foot into a classroom. Some of the simplest details are taken for granted by those who grew up as a second or greater generation college student.

For those that have not had this benefit, the whole concept of a registration process is completely alien. Deadlines are often missed simply because they didnt fully understand the process or routine. Many are overwhelmed with self-doubt and feeling a little out of place.

This is where the role of the mentor is so important in making this program a success. It is estimated that a mentor will invest 10-15 hours annually assisting 5-10 high school seniors with simple encouragement and prodding. The investment of time is minimal.

A mentors primary responsibility will be to contact their assigned students with crucial deadline information to ensure that they are aware of the next step in the process. The mentor will also be available to answer questions that come up and point the student in the right direction. Typically, most information given to students will be in the form of a scripted text message that TN Achieves will provide. The important part is to have a real, live point of contact that can support and hold these new students accountable.

If you have not done so already, consider volunteering as a mentor today. Not only can you make a big difference in the success of a student, you will ultimately have a role in the success of our economy by helping support the workforce with qualified applicants. Everyone wins. Visit and apply today!

Lackey and West Honored in First ‘Forty Under 40’

The Jackson Sun issued a special publication that honored its inaugural class of Forty Under 40. The Jackson Chamber of Commerce and The Jackson Sun created this honor is to recognize individuals for their contributions to their work, industry, company or community and improving the quality of life in West Tennessee communities. Among the 40 individuals receiving this honor are two of Jackson States finest, Abby Lackey and Amy West.

In the publication, it was noted that Abby, Associate Professor of Communication at JSCC, is involved in a number of organizations and activities at Jackson State and in the community. Most notably, Abby and her husband, Gary, founded the Heavens Cradle Fund of the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation. This was done in memory of their stillborn son, Davis. The purpose of the fund is to reach out to and assist families who experience the loss of a child from miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.

Amy, Director or Human Resources & Affirmative Action at JSCC, is very active in professional human resource associations in the area and is currently the president of the West Tennessee Human Resource Association. Other activities include volunteering as a mentor with Madison Achieves and successfully raising funds for the first USA sanctioned kids triathlon in Jackson. Amy is also a Future Star and on the Rising Star Planning Committee with WestStar.

To be considered for this honor, the nominees must: be 39 years or younger as of Dec. 31, 2014; live or work in West Tennessee outside Shelby County; serve as a role model to others in their profession or in the community; display creativity in innovation and contribute these talents to the growth of their profession or community.

To be considered for the honor, a nomination form along with a summary stating why the nominee should be accepted had to be submitted by someone. This submission must also include a brief profile of the nominee along with what makes them stand out among their peers, their community involvement and anything else that might be considered relevant.

Jackson State is proud of the accomplishments of both Abby and Amy and the positive influence they have both in the community and at JSCC. Congratulations to both on the receipt of this well-deserved honor.

JSCC Team Gets in the Holiday Spirit for Arthritis

Some at Jackson State are already getting in the holiday spirit. Liz Mayo, Anna Esquivel and Patti Tanski-Mego organized a team for this years Jingle Bell Walk/Run for Arthritis with hopes of having some camaraderie and fun while helping raise money for a worthwhile cause. The effort gained more support than anticipated and the organizers soon found themselves well exceeding their goal of $1,000.

Team organizers were aware of several individuals in the JSCC family that suffer from debilitating arthritis and felt that this would be a great way to help fellow colleagues while also having a good time. Originally we looked forward to donning our elf clothes and Santa hats for a day of fun and fundraising, says Mayo.

Esquivel first learned of the event through a trainer at The Lift. Lift trainers are currently conducting classes at the college and have agreed to work with the team prior to the event with stretching and warm-up exercises. She felt this was a natural partnership. Everything seemed to be working out.

So far, the team has 25 participants and has exceeded their $1,000 goal by $420. When asked about the success of the team, Mayo credits the desire of many JSCC faculty, staff, students and supporters for having a sincere desire to serve the community in many capacities. Additionally, she states, many of us enjoy staying active and having fun outdoors. Others simply want a physical challenge for which to train, but everyone is united in their desire to support The Arthritis Foundation.

While the team has already achieved a high level of success, there is still time for others to join the team and to achieve an even greater level of success. Team organizers encourage anyone wanting to sign up to visit the JSCC Team Page. The event will be held at The Ballpark at Jackson, Saturday, November 15 at 9 a.m. While you can join the team up to the day of the event, it is hoped you will get in the holiday spirit and join the team today!