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STEM NOLA Founder Dr. Calvin Mackie and Dillard University President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough awarded for their contributions to youth and education

NEW ORLEANS, La–– Jack and Jill Foundation hosted its 55th Annual Meeting in New Orleans for the first time in its existence, and the board awarded the first ever Trailblazer Awards to two local education leaders. The awards were given to STEM NOLA Founder Dr. Calvin Mackie and Dillard University President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough during a special ceremony at the Marriott Hotel on Sunday, June 12 to celebrate the work they are each doing to empower children and students.

“Jack and Jill Foundation is proud to award our first ever Trailblazer Award to two people and organizations that have made trailblazing moves in their industry,” Jack and Jill Foundation executive Director Pier AH Blake said. “It was s distinct privilege to award Dr. Calvin Mackie and Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough in New Orleans where they both work diligently to uplift underserved communities, children of color and building bright minds. STEM NOLA and Dillard University are the types of organizations we look to support as we work to achieve our vision of transforming African American communities, one child at a time.”

 Jack and Jill Foundation also donated $10,000 to STEM NOLA to continue its mission to grow, engage, expose and inspire future innovators, creators, makers and entrepreneur by providing learning opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

 “It is an honor to receive the 2022 Trailblazer Award from the Jack and Jill Foundation recognizing the critical work we are doing at STEM NOLA and STEM Global Action as we aim to help young people develop an interest in STEM and inspire them to value the opportunities and possibilities of STEM-based careers,” said Mackie. “To be honored by such a revered organization in the African American community is an acknowledgement that our work is valued and necessary in the communities we serve.”

 During the Annual Meeting, the Foundation also recognized the service of two long-serving members whose time with the board has ended, Board President Dr. Icilma “Icy” Fergus Rowe and Board Treasurer Hope Knight. Both served on the board together for the past six years. 

 “Jack and Jill Foundation works to build strong families, improve health and wellness and advance educational opportunities in underserved communities. Our newly elected Foundation Officers and Board Members will continue to steer the organization to a sustainable future and advocate to our vision – transforming African American communities, one child at a time,” Blake said.

The Foundation elected four new trustees who will continue supporting the vital work with resources and expertise. The Foundation Board works in partnership with the Executive Director in advancing the organization while it serves as the fiduciary responsible agents.

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