Scholarship Opportunity: Anthony “Tony” Gobar Juvenile Justice Scholarship

Anthony “Tony” Gobar of Jackson, a long-time juvenile justice specialist, died of a heart attack at age 53 in the summer of 2004. He was a man who had dedicated himself to making his community a better place, especially when it came to troubled youth who found themselves in the state’s criminal justice system.

A Breaux Bridge, Louisiana native and Southern University graduate, Gobar began working in job training at a community action agency in Louisiana before moving to Jackson and joining the Department of Criminal Justice Planning as a Program Manager. He worked later as a juvenile justice specialist after his division became part of the Department of Public Safety.

Herbert Terry, director of the Justice Programs Division at the Department of Public Safety, said Gobar was “one of the most professional, caring, sincere, unselfish and honest persons that I have ever worked with or known. He worked untiringly to improve the juvenile justice system in Mississippi.”

The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice in Washington, D.C., established an award in his name for individuals working in the juvenile justice field, and he was posthumously honored by the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice.

“Tony found his greatest joy in the simple things in life,” his wife, Angela, said in a news release. “He served God as a parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church in Jackson.

Tony was known for and will be remembered for his selfless spirit and willingness to always help another person.”


The Anthony “Tony” Gobar Juvenile Justice Scholarship Fund will provide an annual scholarship based on both merit and need for a full-time junior or senior at a public university in Mississippi or at Southern University in Louisiana majoring in criminal justice, political science, social work, pre-law or counseling.

The student must have a stated career interest in juvenile justice or a similar field and have demonstrated a strong commitment to community and public service.

The scholarship is a one-time award up to $2,500 (non-renewable each year). The award may be used for tuition, books and room and board.

The selection committee for the Anthony “Tony” Gobar Scholarship will select finalists who meet the application deadline and stated selection criteria. 


Students must be a U.S. citizen with a current grade point average no less than 2.5 on a

4.0 scale. Demonstrated financial need must be provided via the student’s university or college financial aid office.

If a student meets the above stated eligibility criteria, he/she must submit the following:

  • The Anthony “Tony” Gobar Scholarship application form including a statement of career interest and a description of community and/or public service
  • Three (3) letters of
  • Financial aid information verified via the University or College Financial Aid Officer

Applications are due June 30, 2023

Awardees will be notified in writing and may be invited to receive their award during the Annual Mississippi Juvenile Justice Conference.

Scholarship Opportunity: 2023 JXN Water Scholarship

The JXN Water Scholarship Fund was established at the Community Foundation for Mississippi to provide financial assistance to JPS high school seniors interested in pursuing a STEM degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or discipline that could lead to a career in water and wastewater operations and management. Applications are open to seniors currently enrolled at a Jackson Public School District high school who will attend Hinds Community College. The award is for four $2,500 scholarships for a period of one academic year, but may be renewed for additional semesters. Learn more about the scholarship fund here.


  • Currently enrolled senior at a high school in the Jackson Public School District.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 and significant coursework in STEM.
  • Ability to apply and gain admission to Hinds Community College.
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    • One letter from a teacher that taught the applicant for at least one semester in a STEM subject.
    • One from an unrelated adult with knowledge of the applicant’s character.
  • A one-page essay on how the water crisis in Jackson has impacted the applicant’s life.
  • The deadline to submit applications is April 12, 2023.

Applicants may apply for additional JXN Water Scholarship Funds for additional semesters subject to the following criteria:

(1) Maintenance of a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all coursework

(2) Minimal completion of 15 credit hours per semester and

(3) No more than three previous JXN Water scholarships.

Applicants must submit all materials to


Applicants will be notified by mail or email about the status of their application no later than April 28, 2023. Scholarship funds will be distributed directly to the institution of the applicant’s choice no later than September 30, 2023.


Please contact the Community Foundation for Mississippi at 601.974.6044 or email us at

JXN Water Scholarship Application

Parent/Legal Guardian Address:(Required)
School Address:(Required)
Max. file size: 256 MB.
Max. file size: 256 MB.
Max. file size: 256 MB.

Methodist Senior Services Endowment Funds at CFM to Help Mississippi Residents

A group stands in front of Riggs Manor in Raymond.
Community Foundation for Mississippi’s VP of Philanthropy Theresa Erickson (fourth from the left) stands with Methodist Senior Services board members at Riggs Manor in Raymond, Mississippi.

It’s a fact that charitable donors prefer to give to those causes closest to home to improve the lives of those in their own local area. To help residents in Yazoo City and Raymond, Methodist Senior Services (MSS) recently created two new endowment funds at the Community Foundation for Mississippi that will allow donors to give directly to help senior residents at its local senior communities.

These funds – one for Riggs Manor in Raymond and Martha Coker Green House Homes in Yazoo City – go into an interest-bearing account, and the proceeds help cover the costs for residents who have outlived their funds through no fault of their own.

As endowment funds at a qualified community foundation in Mississippi, donors can get a tax credit equal to 25 percent of their gifts from Mississippi state taxes through Endow Mississippi, a state tax credit program that offers an incentive to encourage individuals, businesses and organizations to make lasting investments in their local communities through charitable giving. The minimum qualifying gift is $1,000.

“In our 60-year history, we’ve never had to turn any resident out due to their lack of funds,“ said MSS CEO Steve McAlilly. “Our new funds will allow us to continue that unbroken record of allowing the residents to remain in their homes, should they outlive their funds. That’s important to us – and them.”

MSS has also created community endowment funds at other Mississippi community foundations, including Community Foundation of East Mississippi, CREATE Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Pinebelt Community Foundation and Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.

“These new community foundation endowments will help us reach new donors and allow current donors to access and benefit from the wonderful Endow Mississippi tax credit,” said Brittany Cuevas, VP of Philanthropy. ”We are thrilled to partner with community foundations across the state.”

Endow Mississippi state tax credits are on a first-come, first-serve basis, opening up each year on January 1. Individuals are encouraged to donate to the Riggs Manor Retirement Community Endowment Fund here and the Martha Coker Green House Homes Endowment Fund here.

JXN Water Scholarship Fund Opens at CFM

Coming on board as the interim third-party manager of the City of Jackson’s water system, Ted Henifin knew he would need to think upstream about the water workforce pipeline. Henifin saw the water system was severely understaffed and struggled with hiring due to a lack of qualified candidates.

To help address this challenge, JXN Water has created the JXN Water Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The scholarship is designed for JPS high school seniors interested in pursuing a degree in a STEM discipline that could lead to a career in water and wastewater operations and management.

“This scholarship will help ensure there will be more properly trained persons to fill those positions in the future,” Henifin said.

CFM recently joined leaders from Jacobs Solutions, the contractor managing the city’s water treatment plants, and Hinds Community College to announce the new fund. Jacobs Solutions has already put support behind the scholarship fund, noting this effort will help create a long-term sustainable solution for the workforce they are seeking.

“To create a long-term and sustainable behavioral shift, we must engage, educate and embed those traits early in our future generations, so they are inspired to do things better,” said Steve Demetriou, Jacobs Executive Chair. “At Jacobs, STEAM, and sustainability are at the heart of our business – we are united in growing our global approach to STEAM to create inclusive education opportunities and support greater social value, inclusion, diversity, and equality.”

Throughout Jackson’s 2022 water crisis and beyond, CFM has served as a hub for philanthropic giving. The Foundation has connected individuals, businesses and foundations across the country to ways they could make a meaningful impact, including long-term, sustainable solutions. Donations to the JXN Water Scholarship Fund can be made with the Community Foundation for Mississippi here. Scholarship criteria, deadlines and application will be available later this spring.

Endow Mississippi Matchmaker: Mississippi Humanities Council + CFM

Employees from the MS Humanities Council stand together.
Kam Ridley, MHC Communications Manager; Dr. Kristi Melancon, Associated Professor of English and Philosophy at Mississippi College; John Spann, MHC Program and Outreach Officer; and Melissa Jones, Director of Paralegal Studies at Mississippi College, stand with MHC’s More Perfect Union traveling exhibit.

When you hit a milestone like 50 years, it is natural to start thinking about the future. What lies ahead 50 or 100 years from now?

In 2021, the Mississippi Humanities Council had this very question. Pair that with a quest to better utilize special reserve funds and a relationship with the Community Foundation for Mississippi and a dream was born.

“While these funds were invested in CDs, the interest rates were low and the Board of MHC believed it was time to think more strategically,” said Stuart Rockoff, executive director of MHC. “As MHC’s 50th anniversary approached, we had an idea to create an endowment fund, invested to grow.”

In 2022, MHC announced a campaign to raise $50,000 to launch the Mississippi Humanities Council Innovation Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi. CFM created a matching grant opportunity for $50,000. The MHC Board agreed to also match up to $50,000, creating a 2:1 match for donations to the fund — a 360-degree “win.”

Because the fund is endowed, the Endow Mississippi state income tax credit made this initiative even sweeter. This provides a 25% tax credit to donors who give to permanent endowments at qualified community foundations in Mississippi as long as donors give a minimum of $1,000.

Soon after the fund was announced, a prospective donor contacted CFM, accessing the tax credit for their donation, supporting MHC, helping meet the match and benefitting their own bottom line with the tax credit. Win, win, win.

Why do endowments play such an important role? In the case of MHC, the fund creates a stable funding source in case of future government shutdowns, ensuring new programs can continue to be designed and implemented. MHC can access the spendable portion of the endowment but is not required to, allowing the balance to grow.

Investments are overseen by CFM’s Investments Committee and Board of Trustees, as well as the Council’s own Board. Jane Alexander, president and CEO of CFM, said, “MHC’s decision to combine their assets with the pooled investments of CFM meant access to better-performing investment options, and therefore faster growth.” Another 360-degree win.

The Mississippi Humanities Council joins Delta Blues Museum, University Press of Mississippi, Operation Shoestring, Magnolia Speech School, Mississippi Boychoir, Mississippi Children’s Museum, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Foundation, New Stage Theatre, Women’s Foundation of Mississippi, and many others as nonprofit partners with funds at the Community Foundation for Mississippi.

Donors to any endowed fund at an accredited community foundation in Mississippi can qualify for the limited pool of tax credits, and applications are currently open, on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more about Endow Mississippi here.

Scholarship Opportunity: Blake Coghlan Memorial Ag Scholarship

Image of Blake Coghlan with field behind him.Blake Coghlan had dreams of building the best farm in the Delta.

At 19 years old, Blake Coghlan had dreams of building the best farm in the Delta. He grew up in Holly Bluff, MS to a fourth generation Mississippi farm family. Blake was a promising young farmer with a passion for farming. He was an exceptional person with tremendous potential. He was undeniably authentic, unassuming, easy-going, and loved by everyone who met him.

He attended Mississippi Delta Community College pursuing an Ag Science degree and had plans to further his education at Mississippi State University.

The Blake Coghlan Memorial Ag Scholarship Fund was created at the Community Foundation for Mississippi to encourage young people who share his passion for farming and agriculture. The scholarship provides financial assistance to a graduating high school senior from Yazoo County or Sharkey County intending to study Agriculture or Agriculture-related degree at a Mississippi 4-year or 2-year institution. The award is for a period of one academic year.

Recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, leadership qualities, and career objectives in the field of agriculture.


  • U.S. citizen
  • 2.5 GPA
  • At least two recommendations either from a teacher, counselor, principal, or others (one recommendation must be from a school representative).
  • High school senior from Yazoo or Sharkey counties
  • Graduating senior who will majoring Ag or Ag related degree
  • Going to a Mississippi two or four-year college or university
  • Full-time student
  • Must submit a 500-word essay about why you are pursuing a career in agriculture.


The Community Foundation for Mississippi must receive each complete application at 119 S. President Street, Jackson, MS 39201 by March 31, 2023.

Please include:

  • Completed application form
  • Essay
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Official high school transcript with GPA


Applicants will be notified by mail or email about the status of their application. Scholarship funds will be distributed directly to the institution of the applicant’s choice no later than September 28, 2023.


Please contact the Community Foundation for Mississippi at 601.974.6044 or email us at

PRAM Recognizes Wolf As Outstanding Practitioner of the Year

Bill Moak and Sophie McNeil Wolf stand with her award.
2022 PRAM Central President Bill Moak, APR stands with Sophie McNeil Wolf during the award presentation.

Sophie McNeil Wolf, the Community Foundation for Mississippi’s Director of Communications, has been selected as the 2022 Outstanding Practitioner of the Year by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM), Central Chapter. She was recognized Wednesday, January 25, during the January chapter meeting by her peers.

Each year, PRAM Central honors and recognizes the exceptional work and professionalism of chapter members whose accomplishments have made major contributions to the profession. Recipients embody the highest degree of professionalism, serve their communities, are committed to advancing the profession and have outstanding achievements in the practice of public relations.

One judge noted, “(Her) diverse and expansive experience is admirable… her dedication is reflexive, and her commitment to a growth mindset and commitment to continue growing and learning in the field is commendable.”

The judges were also particularly impressed with her most significant accomplishment on the job, where she detailed using her unique skill set of combining data and storytelling this past summer at CFM as Jackson fell into crisis over its crumbling water system.

Using the RPIE process, Wolf began listening to organizers and nonprofits on the ground to understand needs and quickly formulate a one-stop informational webpage that could be widely shared across partners and sectors to communicate needs and avenues for support. During this time, the CFM team also launched their Helping Friends and Neighbors (Disaster Response) Fund as a pipeline for giving that could be used to fill gaps in nonprofit needs both in the short-term and for mid- and long-term solutions post-emergency. 

Post-launch, CFM became a leader in the crisis by filling the information gap. Feedback was immediate that many media professionals were thankful to have a trusted source for information, including the vetting of organizations to support through donations. Media coverage spread from local to statewide, which then caught national media attention. From WLBT and Mississippi Today to NPR and Vogue, the awareness of CFM and the power of local support was quickly in the spotlight. Philanthropy partners on a regional and national scale also lifted up the work, including Philanthropy Southeast, Council on Foundations and the Chronicle for Philanthropy.

“I am incredibly honored to be spotlighted by my peers at PRAM,” said Wolf. “There is a wealth of talent among our members and each year I am always blown away by the depth of those recipients. I am thrilled to be considered among them.”

Learn more about Sophie here.