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My Experience and Success at Hinds Community College

 

college degree 

Wow, I cannot believe that I am an official graduate of Hinds Community College. To this day, I still look back on the day in kindergarten when my teacher Mrs. Stewart asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up and my response was that I was going to graduate high school, go to Ole Miss and then medical school. As Hinds would end up being the first detour along the way to destination future, I am proud of my accomplishments up to this point. I encourage new Hinds students to be involved on campus and take advantage of all the opportunities offered.

student at community college in Jackson, MS
Me in Kindergarten with Stewie the bear :) 

Instead of going straight to Ole Miss, I was informed about an honors program at Hinds Community College in Raymond. I would later go with my dad to register for classes. At the time, I thought I would be commuting back and forth between school and home. After I turned in my cap and gown after high school graduation, I was told of a Resident Assistant (RA) postion that would guarantee housing for me at Hinds.


Unlike most students who get a feel of the school after classes start, I moved into Marshall Hall a few weeks prior for RA training. Although being an RA is time consuming, I managed to be involved in other campus orginizations such as RHA, ASG, honors program, public relations and biology club. Each of these orginizations benefitted me as a person and helped mold me into the person I am today.


Where did I find the time to be so involved on campus? As a college student, we must learn time management and I improved managing my time over the past two years.

My first semester as a writer for the Hindsonian, introduced me to faculty, staff, and other students who are a part of the Hinds family. This helped me in other orginizations as well, and I learned to communicate with people I didn't know well. I enjoyed writing for the newspaper and I know that I can look back on this and know I have improved not only in communication with others, but also as a writer. 

RHA opened up many doors for me. It was my membership in RHA that paved the way for my future endeavors. Over the past two years, I have been to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State University in order to attend MREAL leadership conferences. My first year attending would be the first time I would step foot onto the Ole Miss campus and I knew that it is exactly where I want to go after graduating from Hinds. Athough this was a good experieince, nothing could prepare me for what accomplishments I would have at MSU. While attending the MREAL conference at MSU this past February, I was introduced to a Housing Department falculty member from Ole Miss who works with the RAs, I was elected as the 2013-2014 Associate Director of Communications. The following weekend I went to an interview at Ole Miss and was hired as a RA. 

In ASG, I completed over 200 service hours while being involved in community service activities such as volunteering at the Stew Pot, Bethlahem Daycare Center, and Tour De Cure. I was sworn in as Vice President for the 2012-2013 school year. During that time, I worked alongside President Javarian Richards in helping improve Hinds and provide our service to the community. I left with many memories. I had the honor to receive the Joe Cooper Service Award. If I had the chance to live these three semesters over again, I would not hesistate.


Last, but not least, the highlight of my college experience would be studying abroad in England. While growing up, I had only been to a few close states for field trips or family related trips, and I never thought I would go any further. During Spring Break my last semester, I spent a few days with my host family and several days in a hotel in London. While on this trip, we were not confined to classes, but had the chance to see so much more. My favorite part of the trip was going to see a play. It felt weird knowing that I saw a major theatre production in England before visiting Broadway in New York. If it was not for Hinds, I doubt I would have ever had the chance to enjoy an experience such as this. 


I cannot help but think back on all that I have learned and accomplished since my admission at Hinds. If not for Hinds and the people here who have helped me along the way, I would not have had so many opportunities. I can without a doubt say that no matter what goal you may have for your future, Hinds is the perfect place to start.  


college student success
                      Me and my mother the night I graduated from High School 
student government student life    Me with the other ASG officers during our final meeting of our Hinds career.

Hinds Students Spend Spring Break 2013 in England

 

Hinds Leadership and Business students took advantage of a ten day travel abroad opportunity to England. Students and faculty departed for England March 7 and returned March 17.

Hinds Community College and Bridgewater College have been sending students and faculty members back and forth for nineteen years and look forward to many more successful exchanges.

Students sat in on classes at Bridgewater, had fun shopping in London, and attended a play of their choice. In addition to tourism, students also had fun in the remake of their own version of the Harlem Shake upon Glastonbury Tor.

Below is a recap of this year's study abroad trip to give you an idea just how much this trip is worth the deal offered to us at Hinds.

 

Keep Up With Your College Expenses & Financial Aid

 

myhinds account

In the past, if you were to have any questions about your financial aid status, you would have to personally go the financial aid office to get anywhere. With the newest feature that has been applied to my.hinds, a student no longer has to do this unless there is something you believe is incorrect about what you see.

As of this semester, students can click on a link titled either account activity or View Statement Balance. After clicking on this link, the picture shown above will pop up on your screen and give you a calculation of charges, payments by you or financial aid, and anticipated financial aid. If your final number is negative, that shows that you more than likely have that amount coming back to you during reimbursements (split into four refund dates if you do not have any charges after that time).

Drop down menus (in blue) titled charges, payments and anticipated financial aid are available. The following will tell you what each menu consists of:

Charges: This will tell you what charges have been made to your account such as tuition, room, board and supplies from the book store.

Payments: This will inform you as to what payments have been made and will tell you who funded that payment. For example, you might have paid the $50 room reservation fee, and your band scholarship might have paid for your tuition and room.

Anticipated Financial Aid: This will show what financial aid you have received and how much. This will be more detailed as it tells you what was credited to your account first and how much of a particular scholarship and or loan was credited towards your charges.

Not show above is the Reimbursement option due to the fact that our first reimbursement has not been issued yet. This option will let you know when you are reimbursed and how much you received for that given reimbursement.

Spring 2013 Refund Disbursement Dates:

Feb 22, 2013
Mar 22, 2013
Apr 19, 2013
May 09, 2013

Without a doubt, this is one change that Hinds has made that will benefit us greatly and save us a lot of time by avoiding the long lines in financial aid.

Hinds Community College a Success @ MREAL 2013

 

On February 2, 2013, residence life students from Hinds attended MREAL 2013 at Mississippi State University.

Although February 2 was the big day, the work for us would start long before then. Two of the most important aspects of the conference were school spirit and philanthropy. As a group, we got crunk and got our moves on with the many chants that were established during our meetings. In addition to this, a few of the members were involved in creating a roll call video which consisted of various Resident Assistants (RA) and Residence Hall Association (RHA) members explaining what Hinds truly is.

In additon to the chants and the video for school spirit, we all took part in making Valentine cards for those in hospice, retirement homes, etc. At the end of the week, we had completed over 800 cards to take to the conference.

With the excitement we were filled with the night before the conference, a few of us worked nonstop from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. the morning of the conference. I was unable to catch any sleep until 4:00 and I was up by 4:30 ready to go.

As we took our first steps onto the MSU campus, we were already showing our school spirit as our "rivals" Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) were in the bus right behind us, and as anyone would expect, it was competition from the first moment we made contact. 

After signing in and eating our breakfast, it was time to enter the auditorium for the opening ceremony. This consisted of the viewing of our roll call videos and each school showing out with chants. From this, you could tell that not only do we have rivals, but Hinds has friends, and this was shown through our MAROON... WHITE!!! back and forth collaboration with MSU. Although my primary motivation for attending the conference was to represent my school, I would gain much more from the conference.

The first guest speaker at the conference was Dr. Hank Flick, an instructor at MSU. The reason I was excited about this was that this  person has played an important role in my life as he contributed encouraging words to me my sophomore year of high school that would help me succeed both in education and life. After speaking to fellow attendants about their opinion on Dr. Flick, I heard nothing but positive feedback about his presentation.

After introductions were over, Mississippi Association of Residence Hall Students (MARHS) board members were called out to a meeting, while other conference attendants would go on to attend various programs throughout the day. I had the experience to gain much knowledge from the programs I had attended at MREAL last year; however, this year would be much more different than what I had expected as I was chosen to be a Hinds delegate for MARHS.

The programs that Hinds had submitted were a complete success, and despite my involvement in the meeting, I was able to see first hand just how well prepared my fellow delegates were and how well the programs were going.

At the end of the night, we had a snack dinner and would all meet back up in the auditorium for the closing (and awards) ceremony. Hinds had much success.

Hinds would come out with the following awards:

*Philanthropy award for most Valentine cards

*Most Philanthropic (overall)

*Most spirited roll call video

*Top 8 program

In addition to Hinds as a whole, a personal award was also received by Hinds' very own Ernest Dixon. Mr. Dixon was presented an award for his years of involvement with MARHS.

If this wasn't enough, this conference laid the path for Hinds to become more involved in MARHS as we would find out that I was elected for the Associated Director of Communications for the MARHS board for 2013-2014. 

The MREAL 2013 conference was quite a memorable experience for each and everyone of the Hinds delegates that attended, and I know that most of us look forward to attending future conferences.

Be a Donor, Save a Life

 

blood

The first blood drive for the Hinds CC's Spring 2013 semester was scheduled for January 29, 30, and 31. You can donate in front of the cafeteria. Although I was unable to donate right off the bat because of class, I made sure I made the time for a donation.

Today marked my eleventh pint (and tenth donation) since I first donated at the age of sixteen. I believe that allowing donors to begin at this age, even if it requires parental consent, is nothing less than helpful to those in need of blood transfusions because with a wider age group comes more blood supply.

Students look forward to making their donations just for the shirt, some might do it just for the graduation cord (if offered in high school), or some might just do it because they need that last hour of community service for that passing grade. Out of this list, not a single thing has been an object of my motivation.

Growing up, I have always been the person that is the first one to put their hand up to volunteer for something, so it came as no surprise to my parents when I came in for the first time and asked them to sign the consent form for me to donate blood. From that day forward, I have made it a mission to give whenever I am given the opportunity; however, I would later be provided with more motivation than I ever thought I would have.

Most everyone has seen at least one commercial or advertisement about a patient in need of blood donations in order to pull in more donors, but you would never think that you would be involved in a similar situation.

For over a year and a half, my uncle has been battling stage four throat, neck and tonsil cancer. Because my grandmother had battled breast cancer, I was used to the fact that he would be going through chemo and possibly radiation treatments, but the addition to his treatment would make a huge impact in my life. In addition to both chemo and radiation, he would constantly be forced to undergo blood transfusions to boost his health.

As I continue to read the blogs of my uncle as he continues to fight in his personal battle against cancer, it gives me a whole new prospective on life itself, and this has given me the motivation to donate as much as I can in order to make a difference.

For those of you who are able to donate, keep in mind that just thirty minutes of your time can save a life. I know it has helped the life of my family thrive, and I look forward to being able to help others as I grow older.

Christi Reynolds, Hinds Raymond campus Sophomore, is a writer for the Hindsonian.

Life as a Resident Assistant (RA)

 

college dorm roomIf you live in any residence hall whether it's Pickett, Allan-Dukes Whittaker, Sheffield, etc. you know that you are residing with at least four RAs in your building. 

RAs are not just sitting behind a desk 24/7 and they are not looking for a reason to get you into trouble, there is a lot more behind the scenes action that the average resident is unaware of. The first thing is what a person must go through to become an RA.

Not just anyone can apply to be an RA and be picked for the position. A good resume and good recommendation letters might help, but personality and leadership are the key. Before being chosen, one must fill out an application which consists of two letters of recommendation, a resume, two essays, and attend both a personal and group interview. From having to go through this process twice, I have found the essays to be the hardest part as the questions would range from what you expect to gain as an RA to what you can bring to the position.

To be honest, the hours spent working between the desk and what we call in hall isn't that much; however, we are usually on call 24/7, and anything can happen any time. I have been been woken up with residents banging on my door or window to get my attention for something as small as letting someone in their room to being the mediator in a small argument. Either way, no matter what time of day it is, week or weekend, I am to get up and help resolve the situation. In addition to helping out residents, we are also required to keep up with maintenance issues that the building has such as air and/or water temperature problems, burned out lights, and locks, etc. Despite the fact that we have no say so in what gets fixed when, we make sure we stay on the situation to make sure it gets fixed in a timely manner.Hinds community College dorms

RAs are required to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Although academics are pushed when you are a member of the residence life team, there will be moments that you are trying to study and you get called down stairs to fill in for another RA or be taken away from your studies to make sure all residents are out of the building during a fire alarm. There is much that goes on when you are a Resident Assistant that the average resident fails to see.

With this job comes great responsibility, but with this responsibility can come some great fun. Most every resident on campus has seen a flier or two promoting a program going on at one of the nine residence halls. One thing that RAs have to look forward to every semester is putting on eight programs. There is something different going on all the time.

Being a Resident Assistant is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be; however, every moment is worth it. One is not guaranteed a full paid scholarship, but if I had to, I would work for free. This job has allowed me to meet new people, gain a lot of leadership experience, and gain a lot of skills that will help me out in life.

If you are interested in being a leader in your residence hall, talk to one of your Resident Assistants or Hall Director, or even stop by the Housing Office located in Denton Hall to get more information on how you can play a bigger role in your hall.

College Cafeteria Courtesy

 
Lunch Lady graphic resized 600

How many of you actually go to the cafeteria and say good morning to the cashier, or say thank you to the ladies and/or gentlemen in the lunch line for your food? I've noticed that this is something that the cafeteria workers rarely hear from the average college student.

 As an ASG board member, I make it a goal to listen for problems that are going on around campus in order to do what I can to make positive changes. Recently, the ASG board, as well as the chairpeople, had the chance to speak with Mr. Vince Randazzo, the Area Food Service Director for Hinds CC. During this meeting, we discussed various topics, but cafeteria courtesy was something that we ended up spending a good bit of time talking about. We learned more about how the cafeteria staff manage to work with 1000+ students, the problems that may arise, and we realized that it can be a bit overwhelming.

 When you take the time to actually pay attention to how people are feeling, they appreciate it. I go in everyday and say good morning (afternoon or evening depending on the meal period) to the cafeteria cashier and try to make small talk. When I go through the line, I at least say hello and thank you.

 Cafeteria courtesy works both ways and we should keep an eye and ear out for others that may not think this way and remind them that just a few words, or even the slightest smile can make someone's day. Let's keep that in mind and acknowledge the people who work throughout the day to make sure we are able to eat.

 I would like to end this with a quote that I believe fits this pefectly:

Barbara De Angelis:

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.

Hinds Rocks Red Ribbon Week

 

October 22 - October 26 marks Hinds Community College's annual celebration of Red Ribbon Week, which is sponsored by the Associated Student Government (ASG).

Red Ribbon Week is an annual event that takes place nationwide to spread awareness of alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention. This event has taken place every October since 1985 after the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena. The first national Red Ribbon Week was organized by the National Family Partnership (NFP), proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by Nancy Reagan in 1988.

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The week kicked off Monday with the campus being decorated in red to show its support for drug and alcohol awareness. Pictured above, ASG Vice President Christi Reynolds is showing her support by wearing red and passing out red ribbons to spread awareness of Red Ribbon Week.

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Tuesday morning started off with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) which was sponsored by Sharon Alexander District Coordinator of Student Conduct/Develpment on the Raymond campus, presenting students with information on binge drinking and other alcohol related problems. In addition to receiving information, students also participated in this event by signing a petition to support the fight against underage drinking.  After the M.A.D.D. team left, ASG members made their way to the court yard for Walking Dead Blackout. This event consisted of students having their faces painted and wore signs with true alcohol and drug related death stories.

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Wednesday night, ASG will be sponsoring a Red Sock Hop dance in the Mayo Gym from 8:00 - 10:30 p.m. Admission to this dance is $2 or three canned goods. All canned goods will go towards ASG's can drive for the stew pot. Those coming to the dance, please show your support and wear red.

To spread drug and alcohol awareness on a more personal level, ASG will be standing near Denton Hall's computer lab as well as the media center to help students log in to their go. Hinds accounts to take a drug and alcohol survey. Members will be available in these areas on Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Thursday night, a Flashlight Vigil will be held in the library starting at 7:30 p.m. This will consist of students sharing stories about drug and alcohol related issues whether personal, of friends, or of family. If you have not faced any of these issues, you can come out and support those that have.

Red Ribbon Week will be ending with a performance of "Thriller" by Hinds' very own Montage Dance Company. The performance will be held in the courtyard at noon.

Whether you live on campus or not, come out and show your support for Red Ribbon Week.


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