PMHS senior honored for scholarship

Published 7:17 pm Friday, May 18, 2007

Kasey Mitchell, a senior at Picayune Memorial High School and a 2007 Coca-Cola Regional Scholarship recipient, was honored at a reception at the Hattiesburg Coca-Cola Bottling Facility on Thursday.

Mitchell competed against 87,000 other applicants to be selected as a semi-finalist. The semi-finalists traveled to Atlanta, Ga., in April to compete for the scholarships. They were interviewed by educators and influential business people, and evaluated on the basis of their answers.

Russ Hendley, sales manager at Hattiesburg Coca-Cola, said the scholarship program basically looks at how well-rounded a student is.

“They look at good grades, community involvement, and athletic participation,” Hendley said.

Mitchell said she plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi upon graduation from PMHS, and will major in business, management and marketing with an emphasis in human resources.

“I’d like to be an H.R. manager for a Fortune 500 company one day,” said Kasey Mitchell. “I’d also like to be a spokesperson for a nonprofit organization.”

“This is a wonderful scholarship and she deserved it very much,” said Dr. Penny Wallin, former Superintendent of Education for Picayune Municipal Separate School District and the parent of two former Coca-Cola Scholarship recipients.

Also honored at the reception was PMHS girl’s softball and basketball coach, Kristi Mitchell, who was presented the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award by Kasey Mitchell. Kasey Mitchell nominated Kristi Mitchell for the Whitehead award as part of the Coca-Cola scholarship process.

In her presentation speech, Kasey Mitchell said of Kristi Mitchell, “She has always pushed me to go past my limit.”

Kasey Mitchell also credited her coach with the motto she lives by to this day, “Stay within yourself.”

“Kasey is an outstanding young lady who has made a profound impact on a lot of lives and I’m sure she will throughout the rest of her life. I’m honored to have known her,” Kristi Mitchell said.

There were 200 Regional Scholars who received $10,000 scholarships each. There were also 50 National Scholars who received $20,000 scholarships.

Hendley said Kasey Mitchell was one of two area students to receive a Coca-Cola Scholarship this year. Roger Jefferson of Columbia High School received a National Scholarship.