Cleveland State Hosts GIG Kick-Off Event

Monday, May 5, 2014
Back Row, Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, Education Program Manager Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Dr. Tommy Wright, Vice President for Finance and Administration, CSCC / GIG Committee Member; Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President; Judah Akers of Judah and the Lion. Front Row, Pictured from left to right are: Lucia Folk, Vice President of Public Affairs, CMT; Catherine Seymour, GIG Committee Member; Tracey Wright, Director of Special Programs and Community Relations, CSCC / GIG Coordinator; Brian McDonald and Nate Zuercher of Judah and the Lion; Patti Hunt, Small Learning Communities Grant Coordinator; Bradley County Schools; Melissa Presswood, GEAR UP Site Coordinator and Richie Stevenson, Principal, Lake Forest Middle School.
Back Row, Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, Education Program Manager Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Dr. Tommy Wright, Vice President for Finance and Administration, CSCC / GIG Committee Member; Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President; Judah Akers of Judah and the Lion. Front Row, Pictured from left to right are: Lucia Folk, Vice President of Public Affairs, CMT; Catherine Seymour, GIG Committee Member; Tracey Wright, Director of Special Programs and Community Relations, CSCC / GIG Coordinator; Brian McDonald and Nate Zuercher of Judah and the Lion; Patti Hunt, Small Learning Communities Grant Coordinator; Bradley County Schools; Melissa Presswood, GEAR UP Site Coordinator and Richie Stevenson, Principal, Lake Forest Middle School.

On May 1, more than 200 community members from Southeast Tennessee gathered at Lake Forest Middle School to explore adult learning opportunities in conjunction with Cleveland State Community College (CSCC), Bradley County School District’s GEAR UP Tennessee Program, and CMT’s (Country Music Television) Empowering Education, the network’s initiative which encourages viewers to pursue post-secondary education. This initiative  will provide opportunities for parents of GEAR UP participants to earn a college degree before their child graduates from high school. This will enhance the probability for their child’s success in college. The program is called GIG, which stands for GEAR UP Interest Group. 

“The goal of CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION is to help our viewers navigate the busy and sometimes overwhelming educational landscape,” said Lucia Folk, vice president of public affairs, CMT. “One of the best ways to do that is by supporting the great work that is being done on a local level. We are thrilled to partner with Cleveland State Community College and Bradley County School District’s GEAR UP Tennessee Program as they launch GIG, an innovative collaboration which will support parents and their children in achieving a college degree.”

 “I am proud that Cleveland State is a part of this exciting partnership,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, Cleveland State President. “Providing educational opportunities for adult students is a significant part of our mission, and we are thrilled that CMT is onboard. While there are many initiatives, such as Tennessee Promise, that focus heavily on traditional-aged students, we want to be very intentional about expanding opportunities for those who are non-traditional ages. This strengthens workforce development and supports the Governor’s Drive to 55.”

The evening began with Cleveland State providing participants with a dinner catered by G’Daddy’s Barbeque of Cleveland and an informational fair where representatives from Cleveland State’s Enrollment Services, Financial Aid and OneSource were on hand to assist students, as well as community agencies such as Adult High School of Bradley/Polk Counties, GEAR UP Tennessee / Bradley County, The Caring Place, Community Action Network, Habitat For Humanity and the Refuge. Participants were given all the tools, assistance and knowledge to become a college student at Cleveland State Community College this fall. Following the informational fair, community members were treated to a concert by artists, Judah and the Lion.  Also, during that time, CSCC shared success stories of students who returned to school after many years with the goal of inspiring those facing similar challenges to consider furthering their education.

            GIG Participants are required to :

            ?          Complete a GIG application and interview
            ?          Complete a CSCC application
            ?          Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
            ?          Attend at least two workshops a year
            ?          Meet monthly with the GIG Coordinator
            ?          Provide two hours of service at his/her child’s school or to the GEAR UP program
 
            In turn, participants will receive:

            ?          Tools to help overcome the barriers
            ?          Personal attention by the GIG Coordinator
            ?          Assistance completing the CSCC application
            ?          Assistance completing the FAFSA
            ?          A specific Financial Aid Counselor assigned to provide assistance
            ?          Up to $1000 in scholarship dollars each academic year
            ?          Special recognition as a GIG participant
            ?          A certificate or degree (if proper credit hour and grade requirements are met)

“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as the GIG Coordinator in its first year,” stated Tracey Wright, Director of Special Programs and Community Relations. “The GIG program allows Cleveland State to target adult learners, which are difficult to reach. We have carefully put together a program with the support needed to help the GIG participants successfully complete a certificate or degree program before their son or daughter graduates from high school.”

GIG applications are due by May 15. Completed applications may be turned in at Lake Forest Middle School, Bradley Central High School or GOAL Academy. For more information on the GIG program or the upcoming kick-off event, contact Ms. Wright at 473-2341 or email her at twright05@clevelandstatecc.edu.  



Mayor Berke To Speak At Lee’s Summer Commencement

Andy Berke, mayor of Chattanooga, will address graduates and guests at Lee University’s summer commencement on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Conn Center on Lee's campus.  As the grandson of a local lawyer, Mayor Berke grew up in a family devoted to helping others and giving back to the community of Chattanooga. After graduating with honors from Stanford University in 1990, ... (click for more)

Local Students Travel To Iowa To Promote K-12 Computer Science Education

Two students from STEM School Chattanooga, Alyssa Malo and Apsara Beard, traveled to the National Governors’ Association conference in Des Moines, Ia. on Friday, July 15, to highlight the importance of having computer science education in K-12 classrooms. Ms. Malo and Ms. Beard spoke with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Connecticut Governor ... (click for more)

Man, 28, Shot And Killed In East Chattanooga

A 28-year-old man was shot and killed in East Chattanooga early Friday morning. The victim was identified as Jeremy Clark. At 1:20 a.m., Chattanooga Police officers responded to 2008 Glass St. on a person shot. One victim was found suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Police said investigators were gathering information on the potential ... (click for more)

Harold DePriest Retires After 45 Years At EPB

After serving the Chattanooga area and EPB as the public utility’s top leader since 1996, Harold DePriest announced his retirement to the company’s board of directors effective Sept. 1 . EPB Board Chairman Joe Ferguson said Mr. DePriest has played a pivotal role for both EPB and the community as a whole. “When Harold became president and CEO in 1996, he transformed the ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Siedlecki, Sit Down!

This is a personal thing but one of my pet peeves is the little advertising stickers I sometimes find on the top of the front page of my newspaper. An editor at the newspaper has already determined a bit of news he or she feels I should read. And then the sticker covers it up so I have to peel it off before I can read “All the news that is fit to print.” As I groveled over my ... (click for more)