Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors

This year’s 29th Annual Explosion of Excellence will be held in May at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus.  This program honors the academic achievements of the graduating high school seniors who are in the top ten percent of their classes in all area high schools in Jackson County (including the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science).

The Explosion of Excellence is a program jointly sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and all high schools in Jackson County.  It is a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The 2019 Explosion of Excellence Kickoff Celebration was held last week at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce on Valentine’s Day, led by the Explosion of Excellence Chairman, Pat Descher of McDonald’s Descher Organization.

pat descher
Pat Descher Holding the Louis Vuitton Handbag being raffled, and Pat Descher talking to the school counselors and administrators at the Explosion of Excellence Kickoff on Valentines.

This year’s fundraiser for the scholarship program includes raffle tickets available to the public for a Louis Vuitton handbag.  The drawing will be held the night of the scholarship program.  To purchase tickets, contact the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.  To complete this program each year, over $70,000 is raised to provide scholarships to the top ten percent of graduating seniors in Jackson County from the local high schools.

Additionally the public is encouraged to consider a $250, $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship—all of which are 100 percent tax deductible.  These scholarships are donated by the public to encourage these students to consider employment in Jackson County when their education is finished.  The scholarships can be made in memory or in honor of someone, in the name of a company or individual or left anonymous.  The public can help honor these students by writing a check to the “Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence” and mailing it to “Explosion of Excellence, Post Office Box 480, Pascagoula, MS  39568-0480.”

There are many ways that donors are recognized who contribute to the Explosion of Excellence scholarship fund:

  • All contributions are 100% tax deductible through the Gulf Coast Community Foundation
  • If the scholarship is contributed/pledged by the last week of March, the donor will be listed in the book printed for all students and families (500 copies)
  • If the donor pledges by mid-April, the donor will be listed in the event program printed for all attendees
  • The donor will be listed on the event PowerPoint if pledged/donated by the last day of April
  • The donor will be listed on the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce website’s Explosion of Excellence page
  • The donor will be listed in the press release following the program

The Chairman of this year’s Explosion of Excellence is Pat Descher of the McDonald’s Descher Organization, and the Co-Chairman is Dr. Bill Descher.

To answer any questions, please call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email Valerie Dedeaux, Administrative Assistant, at [email protected]. More information can be found online at




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