Category Archives: Education

Georgia Agencies Partner to Host Statewide Feral Swine Education Events

Feral swine have become increasingly detrimental in Georgia, causing significant damage to agricultural crops and natural resources throughout the state. The economic impact of damage caused by feral swine in Georgia last year is estimated at $150 million. A group of agricultural and natural resource organizations are partnering together to bring Georgia’s top experts on feral swine together in a series of educational workshops for farmers and landowners in November and December. The partnering agencies will host five workshops and trapping demonstrations throughout the state on the following dates:

  • Gainesville, GA – Friday, November 3
  • Calhoun, GA – Wednesday, November 8
  • Statesboro, GA – Monday, November 13
  • Albany, GA – Thursday, November 30
  • Berrien County – Friday, December 15

Topics will include disease issues, swine biology, economics, water quality issues, effective control techniques, transport issues, and regulations to be followed by a question and answer panel of experts. Each workshop will also include a feral swine trapping demonstration.

Partnering agencies for this effort include the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Wildlife Services, Georgia Association of Conservation Districts, Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Agriculture, University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, and Georgia Farm Bureau.

Registration for each event will be available at on the “Events” section. There is no cost to attend the workshops, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required. More details are available at

Chatt Tech Raffle a Success for Foundation and Students

The Chattahoochee Tech Foundation awarded a grand prize total of $5,000 split five ways during its Reverse Raffle, held Thursday, Oct. 19, at the North Metro Campus in Acworth.  This year’s winners were Michelle O’Donnell of Georgia Power, Charity Hill of Vinings Bank, Foundation Board Chair and AT&T External Affairs Regional Director Don Barbour, CTC’s Kelly Eubanks and CTC’s Heather Pence.

Chattahoochee Tech Foundation’s Reverse Raffle fundraiser event
From left, Foundation Board Chair and AT&T External Affairs Regional Director Don Barbour, CTC Vice President for Administrative Services Catrice Hufstetler, CTC Events Specialist Kelly Eubanks, Michelle O’Donnell of Georgia Power, Charity Hill of Vinings Bank, Foundation Treasurer Susan Stephens, CTC Director for Alumni and Annual Giving Stephanie Hubbell and CTC Advancement Coordinator Amanda Henderson.


In addition, the event raised $36,887 to help deserving students.

“The times where I have been at the end of my rope, and there have also been times when I thought I would have to hold off on achieving my degree because of expenses,” student, scholarship recipient and 2006 EAGLE winner Jessica Warren, of Bartow County, said. “Each time I thought I would be held back from my education because of expenses, Chattahoochee Tech provided me the way.”

She continued, “I received a scholarship to apply to this current semester and it is helping tremendously. I would not be taking classes right now and being one semester away from getting my degree if I had not received that scholarship.”

Unlike a typical raffle, with the Reverse Raffle, the purchaser of the last ticket drawn wins the grand prize. The final five ticket holders are asked to come forward at the end of the event. These five ticket holders are given the opportunity to decide whether to continue with the raffle or split the grand prize five ways. If one person does not want to split the prize, the raffle will continue and another ticket will be drawn.

Chattahoochee Technical College has a longstanding history of providing not only essential training and education to more than 14,000 students annually in Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Gilmer, Paulding, and Pickens counties but also playing a fundamental role in workforce development. Designed to support the mission of Chattahoochee Technical College, the Foundation partners with businesses, alumni, and community stakeholders to make higher education an affordable reality for students in the community.

Foundation board chair and AT&T External Affairs Regional Director Don Barbour has been involved with the Foundation for more than ten years. He said donating to the Chattahoochee Tech Foundation is central to AT&T’s mission.

“We support Chattahoochee Tech because we support workforce development in the region that Chattahoochee Tech is the catalyst for,” Barbour said. “We specifically provide three scholarships a year to help students with furthering their education.”

During fiscal year 2017, the Chattahoochee Tech Foundation awarded $80,650 in scholarship funds, issued $10,227 in emergency tuition grants and provided $1,500 in emergency assistance grants to students facing financial issues prohibiting them from completing their studies.

For more information, visit

ICYMI: 300+ Students Attend Rep. Graves’ Fourth Annual Youth Leadership Summit

Washington, D.C. – More than 300 students participated in Rep. Tom Graves’ (R-GA-14) fourth annual Youth Leadership Summit in Calhoun last Tuesday, October 17. The students were high school juniors and seniors from 19 schools from across the 14th Congressional District, each of whom was recommended by their teachers and school administrators.


As these students prepare to enter higher education or the workforce, the forum provided them with an opportunity to learn from and engage with Georgia leaders who represent industries and organizations ranging from military veterans to the food service industry.

Besides Rep. Graves, this year’s speakers included Georgia Tech’s State Relations Manager Casey Aultman, author and Chick-Fil-A franchisee Zach Thomas, 21st Century Leaders Program Director Asher Jones and Program Manager Nicole Meadows, and Marine Corps Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Johnny “Joey” Jones.

Rep. Graves’ Fourth Annual Youth Leadership Summit
“At some point, you’ve maybe heard ‘you are the leaders of tomorrow.’ Hopefully you’ve heard that before, right? Well, I think you are the leaders of today,” Rep. Graves told the students when he kicked off the event. “Somebody saw something different in you and wanted you to be here today. So today, we are investing in you.”

The first speaker of the conference, Casey Aultman, emphasized this idea in her presentation saying, “I want to challenge you to not write anything off.” Urging students to think about themselves and to expand their minds about the opportunities ahead of them, Casey encouraged students to become leaders in their everyday lives.

Next, entrepreneur, published author and Rockmart Chick-Fil-A franchisee, Zach Thomas, gave a presentation on self-discovery. The Polk-County native explained, “When you discover the ‘why’ that gives you purpose and the ‘who’ that gives you meaning, you can do any ‘what,’ any ‘where.’”

Asher Roth and Nicole Meadows then inspired students to build foundations in their communities through service. Asher and Nicole lead an organization called 21st Century Leaders, which partners with businesses and professionals in order to guide students through career opportunities and provide them with the confidence and skills needed to succeed.

The last speaker of the day was a Dalton native and a hometown hero, Johnny “Joey” Jones, who served in the Marine Corps as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician. During his last deployment in Afghanistan, he stepped on an improvised explosive device and lost both of his legs. He spoke to the students about his recovery and how “it is our perspective on adversity that matters,” and stressed the value of investing one’s self in something that “doesn’t have an automatic return.”

Between presentations, students were encouraged to meet their peers and expand their networks. Breaking from the daily norms of the classroom, students were also encouraged to use their phones to take photos and post about the Summit on social media sites.

Using the hashtag #GA14YLS, the event generated significant engagement on social media sites, especially Instagram. One student posted a photo with the caption, “#GA14YLS was so good! Special thanks to these amazing speakers for inspiring us to make a difference!”

Another student wrote, “Had a fun time with these cool [students] I met at the Youth Leadership Summit today with Rep. Tom Graves!”

The students weren’t the only ones excited to participate. Joey Jones wrote on Instagram, “Humbled and excited to speak to this group of future leaders today. These young men and women will become valuable assets and fundamental leaders of their communities and our Country!”

Also participating in the Summit were thirteen student ambassadors from Sonoraville and Calhoun High Schools. The ambassadors served as all-purpose volunteers who arrived early to set up, assisted with the smooth operation of the event and stayed late to clean up.

The following schools participated in this year’s Youth Leadership Summit:

  • Armuchee High School
  • Calhoun High School
  • Canaanland Christian School
  • Chattooga High School
  • Coahulla Creek High School
  • Dade County High School
  • Dalton High School
  • Gordon Central High School
  • Heritage High School
  • LaFayette High School
  • Morris Innovative School
  • Murray County High School
  • North Murray High School
  • Northwest Whitfield High School
  • Ridgeland High School
  • Rockmart High School
  • Southeast Whitfield High School
  • Trion High School
  • Unity Christian School