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Shout out: Students and educators recognized for community service, music and academics

Mercer University alumnus Kyle Bligen received a 2019 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, which supports people who want to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, according to a press release.
Mercer University alumnus Kyle Bligen received a 2019 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, which supports people who want to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, according to a press release. Special to The Telegraph

Middle Georgia students and teachers have won multiple awards and recognitions in the past few weeks.

The Middle Georgia State University Association of Nursing Students (MGSANS) received the Community Health and Service Award from the Georgia Association of Nursing Students for their efforts in raising $4,000 by holding a superhero 5k event, according to a press release.

The 5k raised funds for the Forest Hill United Methodist Church’s Backpack Ministry, which provides food for children in need, said Hunter Stringer, former president of MGSANS.

“Everybody put in a lot of hard work, and it was for a great cause, so we were just very fortunate that we were selected,” he said.

The chapter also received a $1,300 grant from Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei, a bone marrow donor program. The chapter hosted a “swabbing event” that made it possible to add 151 people to the bone marrow registry, according to the release.

Stringer said Backpack Ministry serves more than 1,600 children providing them with meals to eat over the weekend.

Stringer said the association partnered with Backpack Ministry by helping deliver food on Fridays, but he said the organization wanted to do more for the program. They decided to host a 5k and had more than 150 runners participate in the first year.

“I think that all goes back to the cause and what Backpack Ministry does for the community,” he said. “We were just happy to raise that money for them.”

Georgia Music Educators Association All-State Band

Seven students from Houston County schools were selected out of thousands of band students across Georgia to participate in the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) All-State Band, the highest honor a band member can receive, according to a press release.

Houston County High School will have two students including Alyssa Hampton and Ben Said. perform in the All-State Band. Perry High School will be represented by Ian Cornelius, Phoebe Guidry and Maximus Genio. Hailey Tayag and Abby Kiefer will represent Veterans High School in the band

The students will perform at the GMEA All-State Band event held Feb. 28 to March 2 in Athens.

Houston County also had several middle school students selected for the All-State Middle School Band. Feagin Mill Middle School will be represented by Emma Davis and Stephanie Choi. Bonaire Middle School will be represented by Gina Cutlip. Perry Middle School will be represented by Owen Pope.

Central Georgia Technical College announces awards

Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) announced the 2019 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence winner and the Adjunct Instructor of the Year, according to a press release.

The winners are former teacher and student.

Anita Ross, who won the Adjunct Instructor of the Year, taught Devona Bell, the recipient of the 2019 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence, in the ninth grade, according to the release.

“Ms. Ross was very inspirational and I absolutely adored her enthusiasm for success,” said Bell in the release. “In my message, I encourage female students to believe and achieve success of having the knowledge, skills, and ability to overcome challenges.”

Bell will move on to the Central Region Rick Perkins Award for Excellence competition along with 22 other award winners selected from technical colleges across Georgia, according to the release.

Ross said in the release that her course and the health science program is giving students what they need to succeed in a nursing career.

“I feel fortunate to have been hired and work here with an outstanding faculty and incredible and interesting student population,” she said in the release.

2019 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship

Mercer University alumnus Kyle Bligen received a 2019 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, which supports people who want to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, according to a press release.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected for the Rangel Fellowship,” Bligen said in the release. “As I embark on my career as a diplomat, I want to thank my parents, professors and mentors who have invested countless hours into my personal and professional development.”

The fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University, according to the release.

“Kyle’s commitment to promoting positive change and his outstanding academic and professional background deeply impressed our selection panel. We are proud that he will be a 2019 Rangel Fellow and are confident that he will effectively represent both Georgia and the United States as a U.S. diplomat,” said Patricia Scroggs, director of the Rangel Program, in the release.

New Teacher Assistant Grants

Georgia Power announced that 41 teachers as recipients of their New Teacher Assistant Grant, which provide new teachers with $1,000 to buy supplies for their classrooms, according to a press release.

Three of those teachers are educating students of Middle Georgia. Jordan Adicks, a Jones County teacher, Sharkethia Johnson, a Houston County teacher and Nathanael Westray, a Bibb County teacher, received grants, according to the release.

“Georgia’s future workforce is learning valuable knowledge in classrooms throughout the state every day, and Georgia Power is committed to assisting teachers along the way,” said Joseph Lillyblad, education and workforce manager for Georgia Power, in the press release. “Georgia Power’s New Teacher Assistance Grant program provides educators with the resources needed to continue supporting the success of their students and new teaching career.”

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