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The Marks Project Receives $25,000 For Youth Summer Enrichment Program

The Marks Project, through the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, was awarded a $25,000 FedEx Corp. grant.  The funds will enable The Marks Project to provide a series of summer enrichment opportunities over a five-week period.  These opportunities include visiting five major universities in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.  The Project will provide students with photography/video editing program, music production lab, and summer sports camps to include baseball, soccer, basketball, and football.  
The Summer Enrichment Program is coordinated by the Quitman County Middle School principal, Cortez Moss. “We are really excited to have the opportunity to provide our students with these kinds of experiences”, said Moss. “We know and understand that putting students on a college campus increases the likelihood of attending college. What is more, we recognize that summer can be a time that families do not have opportunities for scholars. Our team is really excited to be able to fill the gap, and we are thankful to FedEx for making this happen.” 
The Summer Enrichment series is an expansion of the school-year tutoring of middle school students by high school students.   Middle school students also traveled to the University of Mississippi for five Saturday trips to receive tutoring from university leadership students and participate in athletic activities.   This experience opened the door to college life for the first time for many of the students.  

The Marks Project began in the fall of 2016, when friends, Mitch Campbell, a banker from Oxford and Jaby Denton, a farmer from Marks, made a decision to take action to help Quitman County residents lift themselves above their disadvantages.  They set up the organization as a fund of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi in Hernando.  
The Marks Project’s priorities are tutoring, building a playground, and business development, and part of the role of the Marks Project is to serve as an umbrella organization, where everybody with any interest in the activities to improve Quitman County comes to bring programs, get more ideas, gain local support and avoid duplications.  In order to continue making these connections and forming partnerships to improve some of the problems that Quitman County residents face, The Marks Project is developing a web presence to promote their work and allow the community to stay connected.  
“The Community Foundation is proud to help facilitate the work of local volunteers who have taken leadership to improve their community,” said Community Foundation President Tom Pittman. “We especially appreciate the support of FedEx for this program that keeps kids involved and learning during the summer.”
The Community Foundation manages 233 donor-established funds and has distributed $18.3 million to support more than 420 charitable organizations and activities recommended by its donors, as well as charitable programs established by the foundation.  Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation, the Community Foundation is an independent 501.c.3 charitable organization. The Foundation serves Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica counties.  A board of 20 volunteer civic leaders governs the Community Foundation.  Learn more about the Community Foundation at www.cfnm.org or call 662.449.5002.

Courtesy of Tom Pittman and the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi

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