Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) brings the inspiring and courageous stories of seven Louisiana high school students to viewers in a new half-hour special, LOUISIANA YOUNG HEROES 2022. The program debuts Friday, May 27 at 8 PM on LPB’s statewide network and will encore on LPB Sunday, May 29 at 1 PM. New Orleans-based WLAE-TV will air it Monday, June 6 at 8 PM. Viewers can also stream the program on demand after the Friday broadcast premiere at www.lpb.org/heroes and on the LPB YouTube channel.
Since 1995, LPB’s Louisiana Young Heroes initiative has honored students from across the state in recognition of their service to communities, for their academic achievements, and for serving as an inspiration to those around them. The seven students being recognized in 2022 are:
- Reagan Angers of Baton Rouge (Senior at St. Joseph’s Academy) is a cancer survivor diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age nine. She spent a great amount of time at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital recovering from major limb-sparing surgery which removed the cancerous tumor and much of her femur. She returned to school after a year of chemotherapy and physical therapy and learned to walk again with an internal prosthetic.
- Allison Callender of Pleasant Hill (Junior at Natchitoches Central High School) is a cancer survivor who at four years old survived stage IV neuroblastoma. After 18 months of cancer treatment, Allison had no sign of disease, however, she lost part of her hearing and her ability to easily process some information from the radiation therapies. Allison has overcome these obstacles and is active in her school and community.
- Corynn Gray of Lafayette (Senior at Thrive Academy) is a remarkable young lady who persevered through a difficult upbringing with the added responsibility of raising her siblings. She will be the first in her family to attend college and collaborated with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to turn one of her passions into purpose creating her own natural skin care line to help others.
- Gabe Hoosier of Deville (Senior at Buckeye High School) overcame a severe football injury his freshman year and plans to become a physical therapist. He enjoys working with special needs adults, being involved in competitive sports and weightlifting. He founded Cinderella’s Closet to provide formal dresses for students wanting to attend homecoming or prom. Gabe has worked with the Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition and volunteers with the ARC Center.
- Mason McCart of Natchitoches (Junior at St. Mary’s Catholic School) created Cooking for a Cause and raised thousands of dollars for local charities by baking and selling cookies. He is fast approaching his goal of raising $10,000. Recognizing that teens often struggle with emotional, psychological, and social well-being, Mason also started a blog to uplift his peers through words of encouragement and to help raise awareness for mental health.
- Olivia Stringham of Vivian (Senior at North Caddo Magnet High School) is a survivor who endured the death of her mother at an early age. Olivia became the matriarch of her family and continues to be involved daily in the lives of her younger siblings. Her experience has led her to advocate for mental health awareness, as well as champion social justice issues in her community and school.
- Victoria Williams of Baton Rouge (Senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School) possesses academic curiosity, community spirit, and strong ethics. Even with years of instability in her life, she works toward a future of increased equity and remains committed to effecting positive change. Victoria co-founded the Black History Quiz Bowl at her school. She is enthusiastic about science and her community and plans to study Chemical Engineering with a goal of applying it to environmental relief.
Go to www.lpb.org/heroes for more information about the program.
The 2022 Louisiana Young Heroes Program is being presented with the generous support of AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana, the U.S. Army, Baton Rouge Recruiting Battalion, Community Coffee, and East Baton Rouge Parish Library with additional support from Hotel Indigo and DEMCO. Special thanks to the Louisiana Young Heroes Advisory Committee.
New Orleans— The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) is establishing a statewide educational hub providing reliable, accessible Louisiana social studies resources to students and their teachers.
In its first three years the Institute for Louisiana Culture and History, made possible by a $900,000 grant from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, will train 400 teachers in Louisiana history and the use of LEH’s online encyclopedia, 64parishes.org, in the classroom. In addition, the institute will produce 300 new encyclopedia entries and add as many as 900 new photos and media to the site.
“Our students need to learn about Louisiana’s culture and history, and there is no better organization than the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to prepare materials for teaching students about Louisiana history,” said Dr. James Callier, vice president and executive director of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. “They are in the best position to promote Louisiana culture and history by working to provide resources for teachers to use in their classrooms and for students to access, both in class and online.”
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), one of LEH’s partners on the encyclopedia expansion, has introduced new social studies standards going into full effect in the 2023–24 school year. The new course frameworks will expand the study of Louisiana history and culture in the state’s public schools from third and eighth grade to nearly every grade. Together, LEH and LDOE will map these new social studies standards to the content on 64parishes.org and create grade-level appropriate adaptations of key resources.
More than 50,000 eighth-graders each year already have access to this online resource as part of their Louisiana history classes. The institute will both expand the existing content on the site and develop a new search function that allows students and teachers to search the encyclopedia for grade-level aligned content for Louisiana social studies classrooms.
In addition to these online resources, the institute will host four regional educator workshops, which will provide in-depth social studies content training to as many as 400 Louisiana educators, in both the 2023–24 and 2024–25 school years. The workshops will bring together recognized historians, scholars and curricula authors to engage educators about key Louisiana history and culture topics found in the 64parishes.org encyclopedia.
“Supporting Louisiana’s educators has been an important part of LEH’s work for more than 30 years” said Miranda Restovic, president and executive director of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. “This new initiative builds on programs such as Prime Time, which support educators in implementing the Socratic method and effective parent engagement strategies, or our work in delivering Teaching American History Institutes. It’s all a part of our mission to ensure educators and students in every parish and every school district have the tools and resources they need to engage and to learn.”
The institute will provide additional training through summer intensive courses, which will offer approximately 30 educators annually the opportunity to learn from and interact with nationally known historians and scholars, take field trips promoting experiential learning and participate in social studies working sessions at The Helis Foundation John Scott Center, opening later this year at the LEH’s headquarters in New Orleans. The institute will provide a stipend for teachers for all trainings.
LEH Vice President of Public Programs and 64parishes.org Editor-in-Chief Dr. Erin Greenwald, a historian of Louisiana history, also served on the state’s social studies standards review committee.
“Studying history helps us understand complex questions about who we are and how the past has shaped, and continues to shape, society at the local, regional and national levels,” Greenwald said. “However, too many young people in Louisiana lack productive avenues for historical and civic engagement. Expanding our catalog of high-quality history and culture resources and bringing trainings directly to the educators impacting the next generation of Louisiana leaders will be the lasting legacy of the institute.”
Ninety-four seniors from the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) graduated during the school’s 38th Commencement Ceremony on May 21 in Prather Coliseum on the campus of Northwestern State University. Sabine Parish students are Andrew Gatti, Kaylee Herr, and Ross Voorheis.
“The Louisiana School is a continuum with a strong past and a hopeful future, said Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “As you celebrate this significant milestone in your life, I encourage you to keep in mind the support and encouragement you received during this journey.” He expressed appreciation to everyone who makes the Louisiana School possible, including citizens throughout the state, legislators, elected officials, alumni, families, faculty, staff and students.
LSMSA’s commencement began in Prather in 1985 with 172 members of the first graduating class. Horton began the 38th commencement by recognizing some of the senior administration who have helped make the school’s success possible, including Chief of Staff and Director of Administration Dr. John Allen (’98); Director of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kristi Pope Key; Director of Enrollment Management and Institutional Research Emily Shumate; and Director of Support Services Ro Slutsky.
Ha-Ya Davis of Hammond spoke to looking forward as she delivered the senior address.
“We have endured many challenges,” she said. “These challenges were not setbacks, disappointments, or disadvantages. To paraphrase Michelle Obama, ‘They were experiences in facing and overcoming adversity…’ We have developed the durability and maturity that we need to pick ourselves up and keep moving forward. We must keep looking forward.”
Dr. Claire Norris, Vice President for Advancement at the University of Louisiana System, was the keynote speaker.
Speaking to the graduating class she said, “This accomplishment could not be achieved without you trying, even when you were afraid; without you persisting, even when you felt insecure; without you achieving, even after you failed.”
She gave students some revolutionary, timeless advice that’s priceless:
- Doing the right thing is not easy, but it’s worth it to you and the larger public good
- Be intentional in life’s journey and understanding your place in it, for you only have a minute
- Have a team, but make sure that team is diverse
- Don’t fake it, ask for help, you have a village
Of those students moving on to the next stage of their lives, 67 percent will attend 13 colleges and universities in Louisiana while 33 percent are headed to 25 different universities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Collectively, the LSMSA Class of 2022 has been awarded over $20 million in merit-based scholarships. This is in addition to more than 1,650 hours of college credit through articulation agreements and dual enrollment credits, which over 60 percent of students took advantage of.
“With LSMSA as your alma mater, know that we hope we have given you what you need to thrive in your next steps in life,” he said. “You will continue to bring esteem and distinction to your alma mater as all of our graduates have done for nearly four decades as you serve your communities, country, and humanity in various and diverse careers and professions. It’s your responsibility.”
LSMSA educates highly motivated, high-achieving incoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors from throughout the state. Interested students and parents are invited to visit http://www.lsmsa.edu to learn more or to submit an online application with transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and current teacher recommendations.
The Black Heritage Festival will be held Saturday, June 18 at the community center located at 850 Highland Ave in Many.
The festival begins at 11 a.m. with a welcome address by Mayor Robert Hable, followed by the presentation of awards to honorees for their years of community service. The guest speaker will be Georgia Craven, Executive Director of Sabine Parish Tourist Commission.
Fun activities are planned throughout the day. There will be music, water slides and games for the kids, bingo, door prizes, vendors, and food available all day.
The Black Heritage Festival is held during the celebration of Juneteenth, a pride-filled day for the entire community. It is free to the public and all are invited to join in the celebration.
For more information, visit www.toledobendlakecountry or call Mary Perry at (318) 508-2911.
The VFW HALL is offering a $2500 cash reward for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in the burglary at the VFW Hall. Cash and other items were taken. Any information contact (318)315-0078. This incident happened May 4 on Dahlia Vines St in Zwolle. Crime Stoppers are also offering $500 cash reward for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in the burglary at the VFW Hall. Crime Stoppers can be contacted at 318-256-4511.
Chief Thomas and The Zwolle Police Department would like to congratulate new Sergeant Kohlman Mcgee. Kohlman is going to be a great asset to the department and the community. Keep him in your prayers as he steps into his new position. Congratulations!!!!
Baton Rouge – Louisiana State Police announced the graduation of its 100th Cadet Class on May 12. 51 individuals completed their dedicated journey and became Louisiana State Troopers.
Troop E welcomes five new Troopers in Central Louisiana. After months of intensive training, their hard work and determination culminated in the privilege to protect the citizens of Louisiana. They are Shannon Constantine, Bronson Dauzat, Charles Dranguet, Brooke Francis, and Tristen Nicholas.
Troop E covers a total of 8,067 square miles and 9,314 miles of highway in Natchitoches, Sabine, Winn, LaSalle, Grant, Vernon, Rapides, Avoyelles, Catahoula, and Concordia Parishes
Throughout the Louisiana State Police Training Academy, cadets received training in various subjects including crash investigation, emergency vehicle operations, impaired driving detection, traffic incident management, defensive tactics, fair and impartial policing, ethics in law enforcement and leadership in addition to a rigorous physical training regimen. Having successfully completed the LSP Training Academy, the newly graduated Troopers will deploy across the state, where they will participate in a 10-14 week field-training program while supervised by a veteran Louisiana State Trooper.
For more information on the process of becoming a Louisiana State Trooper, please visit our recruiting page at http://lsp.org/recruit.html or contact your local LSP Public Information Officer at http://lsp.org/public.html. The Louisiana State Police Commission is currently accepting applications for upcoming academy classes. For more information on cadet testing, visit the Louisiana State Police Commission website at http://laspc.dps.louisiana.gov/laspc.nsf.
Visit http://www.lsp.org/recruit.html for more information on the hiring process, qualifications, physical fitness standards, and frequently asked questions. LSP Recruiters can be reached at LSPRecruiting@LA.gov.
For those applicants not meeting LSP minimum qualifications at this time, immediate positions are available within the Louisiana Department of Public Safety Police through the Louisiana State Civil Service System. Visit http://www.lsp.org/dps_police.html and http://www.civilservice.louisiana.gov for more information.
Save the Date for the upcoming Black Heritage Festival which will be celebrating freedom. This Juneteenth Celebration will be held on June 18 at 11 am at 850 Highland Ave. in Many.
The Sabine Parish Library will hold its 2022 Summer Reading Program from June 3 – July 15. This year’s theme is “Oceans of Possibilities.”
A Kick Off Celebration will be held on Friday, June 3 at 10 am at the Many Community Center featuring Musician Johnette Downing.
The Summer Reading Program will take place at the library’s main branch in Many on the following days:
Mondays at 10 am for ages 0-2
Tuesdays at 10 am for ages 3-4
Wednesdays at 10 am for ages 5-7
Thursdays at 1 pm for ages 8-12
The program will take place at the library’s Toledo Branch on Tuesdays at 1 pm, Zwolle Branch on Tuesdays at 1 pm and at Converse Branch on Tuesdays at 2 pm.
ATTENTION: Educators, Law-enforcement, health-care providers, mental-healthcare providers, teens 16 years and older, parents, clergy, administrators, blue and white collar workers, etc.
We invite you to attend a 2-DAY, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). ASIST is similar to a CPR skill that resuscitates someone to physically breath again, whereas ASIST helps resuscitate someone into wanting to keep breathing. The cost to you is $0, because we want everyone to have an opportunity to learn this skill. It is our belief, that suicide can be prevented if we all learn how to recognize someone who may be thinking of suicide and help them agree to work towards safety. All mental health professionals, in the nation, can receive 12 CEUs after this training, through Livingworks education, for a $60 fee.
Avoyelles Parish: May 16/17, 30/31, & Aug 2/3 (CLHSD)
Vernon Parish: June 6/7 (Leesville) (CLHSD)
Red River Parish: Jun 20/21 (Coushatta) (Christus)
Bienville Parish: July 25/26 (Arcadia) (Christus)
REGISTER HERE: https://www.savecenla.
The Many Police Department recently received a Special Wave Enforcement grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to partner with the state in its annual Click it or Ticket program.
May 23 through June 6 the Town of Many Police Department will check to make sure everyone is properly secured in their vehicles, drivers and passengers alike. Extra patrols will be on duty to ensure citizens are safe as they travel on city streets and roads throughout town.
“This campaign is to raise awareness that wearing a seat belt is one of the safest habits to learn, from the time your children are passengers in a vehicle,” said Many Police Chief Cheryl Wooley. “One of the safest choices you can make is to buckle up EVERY TIME you get into a vehicle, especially for children.”
Many Americans understand the lifesaving values of the seat belt as the national use rate was 90.7% in 2019. Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2018. In contrast, of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts.
The consequences of not wearing or improperly wearing a seat belt are clear. When a person is properly restrained in a seat belt, the chance of being ejected from the vehicle in a crash is close to zero but almost always results in death if ejected because of not wearing a seat belt. Air bags are not enough to project you in a crash and can seriously harm or kill you if you are not properly restrained in your seat belt. In 2017, 54% of unrestrained passengers ages 13-15 were killed in vehicle crashes.
With school about to be out and the summer holidays fast approaching, more people will take to the roads on vacation. Always be sure you and your passengers are properly buckled in to keep everyone safe even if you are involved in a wreck. Constantly remind your children to buckle up properly during the whole ride and always make sure they are buckled in prior to moving the car, no matter how short or routine the trip.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, NHTSA.org, has information about properly restraining vehicle occupants including infants and small children. Always remember to buckle up when getting into a vehicle before you begin driving. The life you save just may be your own.
Northwestern State University awarded 1,025 degrees to 991 graduates during spring commencement May 11-12. Graduates collected diplomas for associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees, post-baccalaureate certificates and post-master’s degrees. An honorary doctor of humanities was awarded to Baton Rouge businesswoman and 1968 NSU alumna Lela Mae Wilkes.
Graduates listed by hometown (in Sabine Parish) are as follows.
Belmont – Jayce Gentry, Bachelor of Science;
Converse – Kimberly Dobbs, Associate of Science in Nursing; Hannah Parker, Master of Education;
Florien – Lacey Ezernack, Associate of General Studies; Shellie Miller, Bachelor of General Studies; Connor Arthur, Bachelor of Science; Stefanie Corley, Master of Science in Nursing;
Many – Sarah Lewing, Associate of General Studies; Seth Ozsoy, Bachelor of Arts; Emmalynn Beason, Toby Bruce, Gabrielle Bryant, Shayla Duhon, Haydn Knight, Tanner Rains, Aubrey Sepulvado, Tobias Williams, Bachelor of Science;
Pleasant Hill – Ethan Johnson, Bachelor of Science;
Zwolle – Jerry Palmer, Autumn Wyatt, Bachelor of General Studies; Lloyd Gentry, Mckenzie Steele, Emerald Terrell, Bachelor of Science