With a successful first year event, NextGen returns for the 2017-18 school year with another round of another competition recognizing and rewarding “ideas that make our city even brighter” from students and teachers in Birmingham City Schools.
Summit Media Entertainment President Chuck Faush announced this year’s competition at Birmingham City Schools orientation for teachers. “We all were blown away at the entries, the finalists and the excitement that surrounded this past year and wanted to personally thank Superintendent Herring.” Faush said. He added, “we are so appreciative of the support and partnerships with JW Carpenter of the Ed Foundation and Andrea Smith at BBVA”. The Ed Foundation partnered and organized along with title sponsor BBVA Compass who contributed the scholarship and career development cash prizes. Coca Cola and Alabama News Center were also sponsors with both playing major roles in student teacher engagement.
During her first week in her new role, Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring shared the stage this past May saying she was both wowed by and thankful for the amazing talent of the finalists as they made their final pitches for prize money.
The three students competed against each other with their ideas. The winning pitch by De’Angelo Mitchell, a sophomore at Jackson-Olin High School, earned the top $5,000 prize. The $1,500 second-place prize among the students went to Katana Soberano, an 11th-grader at Carver High School and the $1,000 third-place prize among the students went to Alexus Dunn, a senior at Wenonah High School. The three teachers who made it to the finals competed against each other in the night’s second competition with the $5,000 top prize awarded to David Pettit, a math teacher at Jackson-Olin High School. James Jones, an eighth-grade teacher at Hudson K- won the $1,500 second-place prize among the teachers. The $1,000 third-place prize among the teachers went to Heather Claibon, counselor at Ramsey High School.
Students and teachers will spend this Fall submitting ideas with organizers hosting several rounds of judging to announce the six finalists who will again spend three months in early 2018 with mentors to develop their ideas into real projects products and services. The finalists competition will be held again at the BJCC Forum before graduation in May 2018.