Jackson County’s top high school seniors were awarded more than $70,000 in scholarships May 2 at the 27th annual Explosion of Excellence Scholarship Program.
The program is designed to encourage top high school students to stay in Jackson County after their college education is complete.
The entire top 10 percent of graduating seniors in the county, 168 students, received a $250 book scholarship. There was also random drawings for $1,000 and $5,000 scholarship checks totaling $25,000.
Trevor Perry of Pascagoula High School also received a $5,000 scholarship from the McDonald’s Descher Organization.
“This is such an important program — showcasing the support of the community encouraging our youth to further their education,” said Yvette Barr, director of membership communications for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and former scholarship recipient herself. “We hope that one day they will work here and continue to grow Jackson County and the Gulf Coast.”
The Explosion of Excellence program is jointly sponsored by the Jackson County chamber, the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce Main Street Tourism Bureau and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
More than 100 contributors and volunteers make the program possible, the Jackson County Chamber said in a news release.
Scholarship donations come from area businesses and residents. Anyone can donate to students by mailing a tax-exempt contribution by check to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence it to Explosion of Excellence, P.O. Box 480, Pascagoula MS 39568-0480.
Contributors are recognized on the scholarships, in the event program and on the Jackson County Chamber website.
Dr. Chris N. Duke of Bienville Animal Medical Center was this year’s keynote speaker.