GPS Project Update #3

GPS Project Update #3

Dear Community, 

We are very excited to report that six (6) Northside High School students will receive a $350 GPS Scholarship to be given directly to their post-secondary school of choice to assist with books and/or fees. 

The GPS team worked closely with Ms. Jessica Grogan’s senior students at Northside High over a period of five months (January to May) to help them prepare for the March ACT exam given at school, assist with completing FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and complete the application process to their schools of choice. We also conducted a financial literacy workshop with seniors to discuss the true cost of adulting. Students learned about life insurance, rent vs. mortgage, credit management, budgeting daily expenses, and correlated these costs to their earning potential in their careers of choice. 

The following Northside students completed all GPS requirements and have been selected to receive GPS Scholarships. These students were recognized during Senior Awards Night on May 15th: 

Shamiya Morrison – University of Louisiana Lafayette 

Mac’Kinze Williams – Unitech Training Academy 

Amari Williams – Infinity College
Deneyah Celestine – Infinity College 

Bakari Thomas – South Louisiana Community College India Antoine – South Louisiana Community College 

Unitech Training Academy under the leadership of Noah Brandon also awarded FULL Scholarships to Arquetta Celestine and Mac’Kinze Williams for their interest and commitment to continuing their educational journey at Unitech Training Academy. These young ladies were also recognized during Northside High School’s Senior Awards Night. 

Our next steps for GPS Project include walking these students through completing the enrollment process for their schools of choice to ensure they have a smooth transition from high school to post-secondary education. 

Our pitch for the GPS Project focuses primarily on graduating Seniors. Our experience during these few months highlights the dire need to begin walking alongside students much sooner than senior year to ensure they are in the best position to have options and make informed decisions about their future. Ms. Grogan and Mr. Darby, Northside High’s senior counselor have done a wonderful job exposing students to options that are available to them. While working with students, we learned that many simply did not follow through with applications or became stagnant when ran into an obstacle or a question they did not know the answer to. Many students would benefit from developing executive functioning skills and communication skills needed to navigate through some of these processes.

Our goal is to continue working alongside Ms. Grogan and Mr. Darby next school year to offer more hands-on assistance with students and hopefully begin working with 9th -11th grade students as well. 

Thank you Team GPS Project

Freetown Sound Lab Update #3

Freetown Sound Lab Update #3

Dear Community,

We are elated about the progress we are making with our community sound recordings. We are still busy gathering stories and have heard from some very interesting individuals. Our latest project and perhaps most ambitious, is that of 103 year old WW2 veteran, Major Fannie McClendon who grew up right here in Lafayette. She is the last surviving member from Louisiana of the All Black, female WW2 troupe, the 6888 Army Postal Battalion. We are taking our sound lab on the road to get her story. As we near Memorial day and celebrate Lafayette’s 200th birthday, it is amazing to think she lived more than half of that time and risked her life to protect us. We are continually surprised by the hidden gems in our community! We can’t wait to share these stories with you!

Team Freetown Sound Lab

Major Fannie McClendon
Healthy Acadiana Seed Library Update #3

Healthy Acadiana Seed Library Update #3

Dear Community,
We are thrilled to announce that Healthy Acadiana’s Seed Library has officially launched, and the response has been incredible! We are delighted to witness the enthusiasm and participation of our community members as they embrace the opportunity to borrow seeds, replenish our collection, and begin their gardening adventures.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice just starting out, the Seed Library is here to support you. Our diverse selection of seeds is available for “borrowing”, allowing you to cultivate a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and pollinator-friendly plants. We are thrilled to witness the abundance of green thumbs within our community, and we encourage everyone to visit the library and explore the incredible array of seeds available.

We are excited to announce that our seed inventory is continuously replenished, ensuring that there will always be options for you to select from. As you sow your borrowed seeds and your plants begin to flourish, we kindly ask that you consider saving a portion of the harvested seeds to replenish our library. By doing so, you actively contribute to the sustainability and growth of our seed collection, enabling future gardeners to embark on their own fruitful journeys.

In addition to providing access to high-quality seeds, we are delighted to share that we are about to launch an engaging lineup of programming at the Seed Library. These programs will be centered around gardening techniques, seed saving, and cultivating a thriving garden ecosystem. Whether you are interested in learning about organic gardening practices, discovering the art of seed saving, or exploring innovative ways to enhance pollinator habitats, our program offerings will cater to all gardening enthusiasts.

Stay tuned for our upcoming program announcements, as we can’t wait to offer a wealth of educational resources, workshops, and hands-on experiences to further deepen your gardening knowledge and skills.

We are immensely grateful for your support and enthusiasm as we cultivate a vibrant gardening community in Acadiana. The Seed Library is not just about growing food, but it’s also about building connections, sharing knowledge, and nurturing a sustainable future for all.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas for our Seed Library, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We value your feedback and are committed to continuously improving and expanding our offerings based on your needs and interests. Thank you for being part of this exciting journey. Together, let’s sow the seeds of a greener, healthier, and more connected Acadiana!

Healthy Wishes,
The Seed Library Team

GPS Project Update #3

GPS Project Update #2

Dear Community,

Since our last update, Team GPS met with Brandon Noah of Unitech Training Academy and Mr. Darby, Northside High School’s Senior Counselor, to determine eligibility requirements for three (3) Northside High School Seniors to receive FULL academic scholarships to Unitech Training Academy. We will interview six (6) Northside High Seniors on February 8 to finalize the Unitech Scholarship Recipients to attend Unitech after graduation. 

One of the objectives of the GPS Project is to provide guidance and resources to help students improve their ACT scores. On February 3, Team GPS met with NHS JAG students to discuss the significance of taking the ACT. Team GPS will begin ACT Prep with forty (40) JAG students on February 6 until March 7 when juniors and seniors take the ACT exam given by the school district.

Team GPS held it’s second JAG Academic Celebration at Northside on January 27. Students who earned a 3.0 or above with no D’s or F’s and/or successfully achieved their 2nd 9-weeks S.M.A.R.T. goals were awarded a certificate, movie pass, and sweet treats from Nuthin Bundt Cakes.

We are excited about every opportunity to connect with Northside JAG students to provide guidance, encouragement, and resources to help them transition to post-secondary education.

Thank you again for your support.

Karen Dugas & Team GPS

Inclusive Prom Update #1

Inclusive Prom Update #1

Dear Community,

Since receiving the $4,000 from the 24 Hour Citizens Project we have hit the ground running! Inclusive Prom will be taking place on Saturday, March 11th from 7:00-10:00pm. Team Inclusive Prom was initially made up of member of Acadiana Queer Collective but has since grown to include; The Family Tree/Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention, PFLAG Lafayette, Safe Havynn, and We Demand More. We have met twice so far to begin planning Inclusive Prom and will be meeting with a potential host for the event today. We haven’t spent any money yet and instead are inquiring with vendors and potential sponsors who can offer us in-kind donations to supplement the budget we’ve already created. We will be offering each participant at prom a Swag Bag full of goodies and resources from around the community. We also hope to have a raffle that offers each participant the opportunity to win awesome prizes. Currently, across social media platforms we are asking the community to vote on a theme for prom–currently it’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ vs. “The 4 Elements” and “Retro” vs, “Over the Rainbow” in a head-to-head match. We will be sharing the winners of this match soon so that voting for the final theme can happen.

Thank you Community!

Team inclusive Prom