PEARL ― The Mississippi Construction Education Foundation is recognizing three career and technical education standouts as its students of the month for February.

Selected from MCEF’s three districts are Lakendria Perkins, a carpentry student at Thomas C. Randle Career and Technical Center in Belzoni; Madelyn Rich, a welding student in the George County High School career and technical education program; and Hunter Vance, an agricultural power and machinery student at Webster County Career and Technical Center.

Winners are chosen based on grades, attendance, discipline in class, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities, and post-graduation plans. All will compete for student of the year honors at the foundation’s annual awards program in May.

"We congratulate our student of the month winners for being such excellent representatives of high school career tech programs in Mississippi," said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. "We're proud of each of them for helping ensure our state has a highly skilled workforce to support the state's growing construction and manufacturing industries."

Consistently proving that no job is too big or too small, Perkins stands out as one of her center’s high achievers. A member of SkillsUSA, she touts strong performances in the 2019 regional and state craft competitions as a mason’s assistant and plans to participate again this year as a mason.

Perkins plays on her school’s softball team, serves as a member of her church’s Upper Room ministry, and volunteers with the Red Cross. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in computer science or engineering.

Touting a perfect grade point average, Rich is a member of the Collegiate Academy that puts her on course to graduate high school this Spring with an associate degree. She is NCCER credentialed and active in craft events across the state, recently capturing second place in the district FFA welding division, first in regionals and third in the state.

Rich is equally impressive in the classroom, having been cited as a top student in honors English, honors algebra and trigonometry, and all of her college prep classes consisting of world civilization, psychology, English composition, algebra, and biology.

After graduation, Rich hopes to enter the apprenticeship program at Ingalls Shipbuilding with a goal of becoming a welding instructor.

Vance combines an eagerness to learn with a reputation for going above and beyond to excel as a leader in and out of the classroom. He is hailed for his willingness to help others and excels in all subject areas as evidenced by his near-perfect grade point average.

Voted most dependable by his fellow students, Vance is a member of Future Farmers of America, the Beta Club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is also pursuing his credentials through the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

Vance plans to attend Holmes Community College and Mississippi State University.

MCEF is a non-profit educational foundation that provides NCCER craft training and credentialing in more than 100 career and technical programs across the state. The foundation’s mission is to train individuals for the construction and manufacturing industries in Mississippi.

MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades. Learn more about MCEF at