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Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation supports STEM education in Southwest Georgia

ELLAVILLE — Recently, the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers Inc. (GYSTC) received a $12,500 contribution from the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation to provide science related programs to the teachers and students of Southwest Georgia. The donation will be split equally between the Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC located in Ellaville and Southwest GYSTC (SWGYSTC) located in Bainbridge.
Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC stepped into existence in 1996, with the vision and leadership of the late Debra Hackett of South Georgia Technical College, Sam Hunter of SB&T and Katie Brochu, former Sumter County School superintendent to help grow the technological workforce in Southwest Georgia. These great leaders saw the need to help broaden the job pipeline by encouraging students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related fields. GYSTC was a great vehicle to help make that happen.
With the great leadership and support of Hackett, Hunter, Brochu and many others from the community such as Bill Bird, Marcella Hilyer, Joyce Carraker, Lynn Larsen, Michelle Vanderloop and Elayne Whitten and many others, Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC has served the Chattahoochee-Flint regions for nearly 20 years.
The mission of GYSTC is to promote interest and enthusiasm for STEM subjects, and focuses on four main goals aimed at enhancing teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines.
• Promoting interest and enthusiasm for STEM subjects
• Encouraging students to enter STEM job fields
• Improving the teaching-learning process through enhanced teaching methods and content
• Providing more and better qualified employees for industries in our state

Today, the local Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC is located at the Chattahoochee-Flint RESA and works directly with superintendents, curriculum directors, teachers, students and the community-at-large to improve, promote, and facilitate state-of-the-art STEM educational methods and tools.
GYSTC is very grateful and proud to receive this donation from the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation and is committed to using the funds to serve the teachers and students of Southwest Georgia.
Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC is a member of a network of regional GYSTCs located across Georgia. GYSTC Inc. headquarters is located at Kennesaw State University with representation on its state board of directors from business and industry, the Georgia Department of Education, the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia.