Project GRAD program at Lee College Education Center – South Liberty County

High-schoolers from Dayton, Hardin and Liberty participated in College & Career Institute

Students at Career Fair
Local high-school students attending this summer the J.P. Morgan Chase College and Career Institute at Lee College network with representatives from Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., Covestro, ExxonMobil and Noltex at a mock career fair held at the main campus in Baytown. The institute included a variety of career and college exploration activities and was sponsored in partnership with Workforce Solutions and Project GRAD Houston, an organization that aims to help students develop and achieve their educational aspirations.

BAYTOWN, TX — More than two dozen high school students from the Dayton, Hardin and Liberty school districts spent a week at the Lee College Education Center – South Liberty County this summer to attend the J.P. Morgan Chase College and Career Institute, a program sponsored by Project GRAD Houston to help young people start on the path toward a high-wage, high-skill and high-demand career.

Project GRAD Houston aims to improve lives in low-income communities by helping students develop and achieve their educational aspirations. As part of the effort, the program offers college institutes each summer for 1,000 scholars across the Houston area. The J.P. Morgan Chase College and Career Institute at Lee College was also sponsored in partnership with Workforce Solutions.

Lee College hosted the majority of the institute at its new education center in South Liberty County, where faculty gave students an inside look at programs in electrical technology, process technology, logistics, computer-aided drafting and engineering technology. They learned about the hard and soft skills that employers want to see in job candidates, and picked up tips about networking and proper presentation.

The students also took field trips to regional manufacturing facilities and spent their final evening at the main campus in Baytown, participating in a mock career fair with representatives from Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., Covestro, ExxonMobil and Noltex. Robert Bird, a rising senior at Liberty High School, was announced the lucky winner of a $500 scholarship at the institute’s closing ceremony.

Scholarship Winner Robert Bird
Scholarship winner Robert Bird: Robert Bird, a rising senior at Liberty High School, receives a $500 scholarship at the closing ceremony for the J.P. Morgan Chase College and Career Institute at Lee College. The institute included career and college exploration activities for high-school students and was sponsored in partnership with Workforce Solutions and Project GRAD Houston, an organization that aims to help students develop and achieve their educational aspirations.

“At Project GRAD, we say that ‘graduation really achieves dreams,’” Anne Sung, vice president and chief strategy officer for Project GRAD Houston, told the students who completed the institute. “You could have spent your summer vacation doing many things, but you chose to come to Lee College to explore college, explore careers and discover more about yourself.”

Students at the institute developed 30-second commercials about themselves for potential employers and produced videos detailing their future educational and career goals. Adam Percy, a rising sophomore at Liberty High School who aspires to be a lawyer, volunteered to share his commercial live on stage at the closing ceremony and said he learned valuable lessons by participating in the program. When he had his opportunity to speak with process operators from Chevron Phillips at the mock career fair, he felt confident about how to approach and what to say.

“Go to school while you can, and always do the best you can,” Percy said.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Basketball Team rolls up sleeves to serve those in need

Program has also donated more than 6,000 canned goods to local churches & food pantries

Basketball team spends time with children
Members of the Lee College Runnin’ Rebels Basketball Team spend time Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2016, with children at Curt’s Kitchen, a ministry of Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church in Baytown that provides a free weekly dinner to people in need. The team volunteered to assist with serving the meal and also donated 600 canned goods to the ministry as part of ongoing efforts to give back to the community.

BAYTOWN, TX — Members of the Lee College Runnin’ Rebels Basketball Team recently tied on aprons and pulled on plastic gloves to help Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church serve barbecue sandwiches with all the trimmings to people in need in the Baytown community.

The student-athletes also gave 600 canned goods to Curt’s Kitchen, the church ministry that feeds the hungry every Wednesday at the Coat of Many Colors in Baytown. The Runnin’ Rebels have donated 3,000 canned goods to numerous churches and local food pantries since the summer began, and more than 6,000 canned goods since the start of the 2015-16 basketball season.

“It’s important for our guys to be a part of the Baytown community,” said Head Coach Roy Champagne, who joined his players on the serving line at Curt’s Kitchen and invited the diners to attend an upcoming basketball game on campus for free. The 2016-17 basketball season begins in November.

“The Baytown community affords these players the opportunity to get scholarships and be able to attend Lee College,” Champagne said. “Our service is a small way of trying to give back.”

As some players scooped up potato salad and passed out homemade desserts, others filled up glasses of tea for the Curt’s Kitchen patrons and assisted the ministry volunteers by washing dishes and helping to clear tables. Children got high-fives from the team, asked questions and posed for photos with their favorite players.

Basketball team volunteers at Curt's Kitchen
The Lee College Runnin’ Rebels Basketball Team donned aprons and plastic gloves Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2016, as volunteers at Curt’s Kitchen, a ministry of Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church in Baytown that provides a free weekly dinner to people in need. The student-athletes also donated 600 canned goods to help keep the ministry’s shelves well stocked for its patrons. Pictured on the serving line, from left: Roc Johnson, Julian Powell and Javonte Cooper.

Nita Davis, who coordinates Curt’s Kitchen for Cedar Bayou Grace, was impressed by the team’s generosity and willingness to share their time with the more than 100 people served by the ministry each week. In addition to dinner, the church also provides daily sack lunches to children in the neighborhood who would otherwise be unable to eat during summer break. The ministry works strictly on donations.

“To come in and work in the kitchen — that’s what makes you tear up,” Davis said of the Runnin’ Rebels, adding that their gift of canned goods would also make a difference to those in need. “They were so excited and anything we asked them to do, they did. It’s a tremendous thing.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Mobile Go Center to be posted at San Jacinto Mall for Tax-Free Weekend

Mobile Go Center
The doors of the Lee College Mobile Go Center will be open to prospective students Aug. 5-6 as part of the Tax-Free Weekend Event at San Jacinto Mall in Baytown. The center is equipped with high-speed Internet, satellite dishes, laptops and other equipment and resources needed to help prospective students explore Lee College program offerings and even register for classes on the spot.

BAYTOWN, TX — Shoppers hunting this weekend for sales tax-free deals at San Jacinto Mall will also have the chance to start their pursuit of higher education at the Lee College Mobile Go Center, a 42-foot trailer equipped with state-of-the-art technology and everything a prospective student needs to explore program offerings and even register for classes.

The Mobile Go Center will be stationed at the mall, located at 16900 Garth Road in Baytown, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5-6. Visitors are welcome to climb aboard to learn more about the degrees and certificates available at Lee College, financial aid and scholarship options, and the application and enrollment process. There will also be prizes giveaways and additional information about the college’s various community outreach efforts.

Lee College acquired the Mobile Go Center in 2015 with a $165,000 grant from the Texas Pioneer Foundation. The center is outfitted with high-speed Internet, satellite dishes, remote printers, laptops and LCD televisions. For more information about the center or the Tax-Free Weekend Event at San Jacinto Mall, contact Keon Baldwin of the Office of Outreach Services at 281.425.6340 or kbaldwin@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee College recognizes ExxonMobil for long partnership & generous contributions

College received more than $258,000 this year to support academics and student success

ExxonMobil Lunch
From left: Marsha Tuha, Interim Director of Corporate Services at Lee College; Debi Jordan, Executive Director of the Center for Workforce and Community Development at Lee College; Wayne Gray, Lee College Board of Regents; Brian Nagle of ExxonMobil; Woody Paul, Manager of the ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant; Ronn Haddox, Chairman of the Lee College Board of Regents; Pete Alfaro, Lee College Board of Regents; Layton Childress, Dean of Applied Sciences at Lee College; Mark Himsel, Lee College Board of Regents; Dr. Carolyn Lightfoot, Chief Information Officer at Lee College; Dr. Christina Ponce, Vice President of Student Success, Workforce and Resource Development at Lee College; and Dr. Dennis Brown, Lee College President.
ExxonMobil Lunch
From left: Woody Paul, Manager of the ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant; Joe Whiddon of ExxonMobil; Connie Whiddon; Brian Nagle of ExxonMobil; Wayne Gray, Lee College Board of Regents; Ronn Haddox, Chairman of the Lee College Board of Regents; Pete Alfaro, Lee College Board of Regents; Mark Himsel, Lee College Board of Regents; Dr. Donnetta Suchon, Vice President of Student Affairs at Lee College; Pam Warford, Executive Director of the Lee College Foundation; and Dr. Dennis Brown, Lee College President.
ExxonMobil Lunch
From left: Debi Jordan, Executive Director of the Center for Workforce and Community Development at Lee College; Brian Nagle of ExxonMobil; Woody Paul, Manager of the ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant; Wayne Gray, Lee College Board of Regents; Ronn Haddox, Chairman of the Lee College Board of Regents; Pete Alfaro, Lee College Board of Regents; Dr. Michael Fleming, Executive Director of Institutional Planning, Effectiveness and Research at Lee College; Marisela Morales, Lee College student; Mark Himsel, Lee College Board of Regents; Ellis Dorrance, Lee College student; Kelly Dando, ExxonMobil Grant Project Coordinator at Lee College; and Dr. Dennis Brown, Lee College President.

BAYTOWN, TX — Leaders from Lee College and ExxonMobil recently came together to celebrate more than 80 years of successful partnership, and recognize the company for contributing more than $258,000 this year to academic programs and student success initiatives that prepare students for long-lasting and well-paying careers in a growing industry.

ExxonMobil presented the college with three donation checks at a special luncheon held Friday, July 22, on the third floor of the Advanced Technology Center: $15,000 for the EnergyVenture summer camp hosted by the Center for Workforce and Community Development that gives middle school students the chance to explore energy industry careers; $118,500 in ExxonMobil Foundation educational matching funds that will be used for student success efforts; and $125,000 for technician training programs like process technology and instrumentation.

ExxonMobil’s investment in Lee College is vital to students who would otherwise be unable to afford tuition or other expenses without additional resources, said Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown. The difficulty of balancing the rigor of technical programs with work, family and other responsibilities is an obstacle that prevents many from completing their chosen degree or certificate.

“What you do for us, in so many ways, makes such a difference to so many students,” Brown said. “These students are training for lifetime careers that can help them create a better and brighter future for themselves and their families.”

Lee College administrators also noted that ExxonMobil’s support extends beyond the financial. The company offers students internships that give them practical work experience before graduation, and regularly sends its employees to campus to share insights and expertise with both students and faculty.

ExxonMobil has also hosted pre-employment testing on campus, and helps the college to build a pipeline of future skilled workers by participating in programs and activities designed to give K-12 students an early introduction to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We owe ExxonMobil so much for giving back to the community,” said Layton Childress, dean of Applied Sciences. “Our goal is to take what you’ve given us and expand on it.”

Woody Paul, manager of the ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant, said the company is proud of its longstanding relationship with Lee College and happy to invest in an institution centered on providing the high-quality education that its future employees will need to be successful.

“The passion, effort and caring that Lee College provides to its students is so effective,” Paul said. “You are equipping students to be successful in today’s world, and you are invaluable to us.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.