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Mothers and Daughters ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Clairton

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER — The jubilant faces captured the “Make A Joyful Noise” theme at the Mother-Daughter Musical Extravaganza, held June 9 at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Park Avenue, Clairton.

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by Courier Newsroom

The jubilant faces captured the “Make A Joyful Noise” theme at the Mother-Daughter Musical Extravaganza, held June 9 at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Park Avenue, Clairton.

The concept was in the mind of the community’s Patriarch and Host Pastor, Rev. William Callaway and came to fruition with the support of the Clairton church community. The event, which featured six sets of mothers and daughters, kept the crowd on its feet, clapping and cheering, giving perfect pitch to a triumphant time of worship in song.

Dr. Bernadette Jeffrey, associate Evangelist of neighboring Gethsemane COGIC, was Mistress of Ceremony.

– Jacquelyn McDonald

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This article originally appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier

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Bay Area

Richmond Family ‘Loses Everything’ After Home Burns on Christmas Eve

Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the damages were extensive. Crews arrived to find a roof and attic area of a townhome well-involved with fire. A second alarm was called to summon more resources to battle the blaze. While two Richmond fire crews fought the fire in the first townhome unit, Con Fire crews battled flames in another unit and also performed vertical ventilation from the roof.

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Image courtesy of Richmond Firefighters Local 188.
Image courtesy of Richmond Firefighters Local 188.

The Richmond Standard

A fire heavily damaged two townhome units in Richmond on Christmas Eve.

GoFundMe was launched to support a family who lost “everything” in the blaze.

The fire occurred in the 3200 block of South Ridge Drive in Richmond’s Hilltop area at about 11:15 p.m., according to Richmond Firefighters Local 188, the union representing Richmond firefighters.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the damages were extensive. Crews arrived to find a roof and attic area of a townhome well-involved with fire. A second alarm was called to summon more resources to battle the blaze. While two Richmond fire crews fought the fire in the first townhome unit, Con Fire crews battled flames in another unit and also performed vertical ventilation from the roof.

The stubborn fire was brought under control within 30 minutes, officials said.

Fire officials posted video footage from the large fire on social media.

While occupants of the units made it out without injuries reported, the losses were great, fire officials said.

A GoFundMe launched in the wake of the fire aims to support the Rullier family, who reportedly resided in the unit neighboring the unit where the fire began.

“Luckily everybody was able to escape before the home was fully engulfed but there wasn’t enough time to grab any belongings,” according the GoFundMe.

The Rullier family lost “all personal items, clothes, documents, savings, etc” in the sudden event, according to the GoFundMe.

GoFundMe donations will help the family temporarily find a new home and toward replacing what is lost. To contribute, go here or https://www.gofundme.com/f/rullier-family-loses-everything-in-xmas-home-fire?fbclid=IwAR2HHx3v_-DBqNXqI07C2gMy68bmmIgoX3ZV1nKX-nsLK8oPd8SZG0hegc4

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Bay Area

Registering for the WCCUSD Is as Easy as 1-2-3

To register for school, you will need: Verification of residency (two); age verification: birth certificate, Baptismal record or passport; immunization record; parent, guardian or caregiver ID (one); and documents required under special circumstances, per the WCCUSD.

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The West Contra County Unified School District (WCCUSD) has released its 2022-2023 New Family Enrollment process, and it’s as simple as three steps.
The West Contra County Unified School District (WCCUSD) has released its 2022-2023 New Family Enrollment process, and it’s as simple as three steps.

By Kathy Chouteau

The West Contra County Unified School District (WCCUSD) has released its 2022-2023 New Family Enrollment process, and it’s as simple as three steps.

First, visit bit.ly/wccusdschoolsitelocator to identify your resident school in WCCUSD. There will be an interactive School Site Locator where you can enter your address in the search box or just browse through the map.

Next, register online at wccusd.net/newfamilyenrollment. In order to register, you’ll need an email account, a Power Schools account (set up during online registration) and the required documents ready to upload. To register for school, you will need: Verification of residency (two); age verification: birth certificate, Baptismal record or passport; immunization record; parent, guardian or caregiver ID (one); and documents required under special circumstances, per the WCCUSD.

Finally, you should schedule an appointment at your resident school since registration isn’t complete until you meet with your school in person. Be prepared to show your ID for verification and the same documentation used during registration.

Learn more: https://www.wccusd.net/newfamilyenrollment

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Advice

From the 1800s to Today: Empowering Veteran Business Owners

Amid the success of the family business, the McKindras never lost sight of the support they had been given—and the importance of passing it on to others in their community and society. Generations of McKindras have dedicated their lives to the military, including his grandfather, father, and brother (pictured right), and subsequently to their communities when they returned home.

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Three generations of McKindras pictured from left to right: Alex Jr. (West Point, Air Force), Q.R. McKindra (Alex Jr.’s grandfather, WWII veteran), Alex Sr. (career Army officer), and Marcus (Alex Jr.’s younger brother, Air Force Academy) (Courtesy photo)
Three generations of McKindras pictured from left to right: Alex Jr. (West Point, Air Force), Q.R. McKindra (Alex Jr.’s grandfather, WWII veteran), Alex Sr. (career Army officer), and Marcus (Alex Jr.’s younger brother, Air Force Academy) (Courtesy photo)

From JPMorgan Chase

From his years of service in the military to his current work helping former soldiers build their own businesses through JPMorgan Chase’s veteran initiatives, Alex McKindra Jr. is a veteran success story.

Moreover, as we celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, Alex’s story is a uniquely American one that veterans and members of the military community across the country can relate to. But, as he is the first to admit, his success story, like many, has a long history tracing back through generations of his family in the small town of Union Chapel, Arkansas.

Becoming a Cornerstone of the Community

In the late 1800s, Alex’s great-great grandfather, Reuben Frank McKindra, moved his family to Union Chapel, a town originally settled by freed Black slaves.

Working on their family farm, the McKindras made a name for themselves by demonstrating their resourcefulness and aptitude for hard work. Namely, the family utilized mentorship programs, as well as public and private funding, to not only start but grow their family farm.

Amid the success of the family business, the McKindras never lost sight of the support they had been given—and the importance of passing it on to others in their community and society. Generations of McKindras have dedicated their lives to the military, including his grandfather, father, and brother (pictured right), and subsequently to their communities when they returned home.

“I would not be in the position I am today if not for the opportunities that mentorship provided,” says McKindra. “The farm my family was able to start, through the support and mentorship of others, has helped to educate and put clothes on every generation of my family since the 1880s.”

Honoring a Legacy

McKindra chose to honor his roots by joining the service himself. He graduated from West Point in 1993 and then completed a tour of duty serving across the U.S. as Captain in the United States Air Force. He worked as a procurement officer, including on the B-2 Bomber Program, which allowed him to travel across the country, learning from and serving others. During that time, he also spent his nights and weeks pursuing an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Armed with the life experience and knowledge he gained from the service—and a freshly-minted MBA and banking internship under his belt— McKindra dove into the world of corporate finance. Quickly building a reputation for his intelligence, reliability and kindness, he rose through the ranks. Today, he works as a Managing Director for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking in San Francisco

Paying It Forward

Alex didn’t want the chapter in his family’s story to end with commercial success.  He wanted to help those who—like his great-great-grandfather Reuben—had risked their lives for the country and were now seeking to put down roots as civilians. With that in mind, he decided to co-lead JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking’s veteran initiatives alongside Army veteran, Terry Hill. Alex, Terry and their team across the firm share a passion for mentorship and community building. Through various programming, they tap into their military backgrounds to connect with aspiring and current military-connected entrepreneurs to help them access the resources they need to be successful over the long-term.

For example, McKindra worked with JPMorgan Chase to partner with Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit that supports the ventures of veterans and military spouses, to build programs to help veteran business owners.

Today, JPMorgan Chase is powering Bunker Labs’ CEOcircle, a monthly peer accountability group for growth-stage companies looking to scale. Through this program, veteran business owners and their families gain access to the guidance and resources they need to succeed, including education, networking, and one-on-one financial coaching. This year, CEOcircle welcomed 71 new individuals to the program including Office Libations from Alameda.

The program uplifts businesses that will support military families for generations to come — businesses like the McKindra farm.

“If I’ve learned one thing from my family’s history, it’s that hard work and preparation aren’t always enough. Sometimes we need to create our own opportunities as well,” Alex says. “That is what we are hoping to do with CEOcircle, to create the opportunities and provide the support veteran entrepreneurs need to help them overcome systemic obstacles to business and professional growth.”

Generational Impact

Less than an hour north of Little Rock, the McKindra’s family farm still stands in Union Chapel. Today, the manicured green fields and trees remain a testament to the effort, determination, and community it takes to create a successful business.

“If my great-great-grandfather were here today, I would want him to know that what he built didn’t just support our family, it also instilled the values in us that would seed the acceleration and growth of hundreds of other veteran-owned businesses in the future,” McKindra says. “I know he’d be proud of that.”

If you are a veteran or know someone who is and want to learn more about how JPMorgan Chase support veterans whether through career advancement or small business support or anything in between, please visit: https://www.jpmorganchase.com/impact/people/military-and-vets

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