Ananya Yilma attended The Piney Woods School from 2001-2004. In 2004, Yilma graduated as the salutatorian of his class. He found out about PWS because his brother and sister attended this great educational institution in the early 90s. Ananya stated he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for Piney Woods. His three-year journey taught him to be a responsible adult at an early age. And that prepared him for college life and beyond.
Ananya is able to trace his organization and productivity habits to lessons from his Piney Woods days. Those qualities have served him well during his personal and professional journey. After completing his time at PWS, Ananya enrolled in Mississippi Valley State University and was a 2006 initiate into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
Currently, Ananya is a product manager working for CommScope, a network infrastructure company in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. He is responsible for managing their software line of products.
Justin Gilbert, stated, “My mother actually found Piney Woods”. Justin came to Piney Woods from a school (in Maryland, suburban DC), where he was not focusing very well. “I had become rebellious and not performing well at school, so my mom started doing research. One of her friends highly recommended The Piney Woods School as an option for Justin.
Piney Woods was a turning point in Justin’s life. It changed my environment, which meant his associations changed. “Many people say you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Prior to coming to Piney Woods, those 5 people weren’t great influences, Justin exclaims. Piney Woods was a positive environment; Piney Woods pushed him to change and take responsibility for my success. He was made to get to breakfast on time, and to study and to perform. He counts that the human and personal development they push at Piney Woods, as having the greatest impact on him. He would sum up the experience as gaining self-discipline, that provided him the ability to gain a strong work ethic. "When you leave here and go somewhere else, you feel like you can do anything."
Justin often reflects upon my time at Piney Woods and compares it to where he is today. Justin concludes that a lot of small positive decisions shaped the trajectory of my life. He counts Piney Woods as one of those decisions. For Justin, Piney Woods was where he learned his first lessons in independence, perseverance, responsibility, and friendship development. Piney Woods helped to create a solid foundation for his life which has positively contributed to the person he is today.
On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, before
the entire faculty, staff, and surrounded by the students, President Will
Crossley signed a contractual agreement with Solar Alternatives, Inc.
Solar Alternatives is a privately
held solar engineering, procurement, and construction company headquartered in
New Orleans, Louisiana with locations in Mississippi and Texas. Solar
Alternatives has been designing and installing solar systems throughout the
Gulf South since 2008.
The staff of electrical engineers,
project managers, and procurement experts work on the leading edge of
implementing state of the art energy strategies utilizing the latest in
technology and equipment.
With the signing of the contract, SA
will begin the construction of The Piney Woods School’s solar field. The solar
field offers an opportunity for the students to learn about cutting edge
technology and it begins the process of erasing Piney Woods’ carbon footprint.
Piney Woods School is hosting its fifth annual “Give from Your Heart” Gospel
Festival which takes place Saturday, May 4, 2019 @11 AM to 6 PM on the campus
of the historic Piney Woods Mississippi co-ed boarding school. “This is a great way to raise money for the
school while also allowing the public to get a glimpse of what we do here,”
says Piney Woods School President, Dr. Will Crossley.
A variety of food vendors will be on hand to feed the hungry crowd and there will be recreational activities for the youth. The all-day concert will feature the Grammy® nominated artists Brian Courtney Wilson and Anthony Brown. Also performing will be Jor’dan Armstrong, Fred Jerkins & Last Call, Tim Bowman Jr., Jermaine Dolly, as well as Jackson’s very own Four Washington, a dynamic urban inspirational group of teenage siblings.
The Piney Woods School choir, the Cotton Blossom Singers, will be performing as well. Ticket prices are $15 and a family pack of 4 tickets are $50. Children 15 years old and younger attend for free. All tickets are available from www.pineywoods.org or by calling (601) 845-2214.
100+ year old institution boasts an international student population with
pupils hailing from over seventeen states and foreign jurisdictions. Piney Woods offers a rigorous educational,
spiritual and vocational curriculum and provides an environment where students are expected to excel academically and
socially. Over 95% of the graduating seniors are admitted to colleges and universities.
Thank you for being a part of The
Piney Woods School's 5th Annual Give From Your Heart Campaign!
The work we do at The Piney Woods is
powered by two things: incredible young scholars with a burning desire to learn
and succeed and the sustaining generosity from the hearts of our donors.
You have responded generously in the
past. This year, we are making a special appeal to you to Give From Your Heart
to support scholarships for young scholars in honor of a loved one. Your gift
helps us provide a scholarship for a student who would otherwise have no means
of paying for our unique, innovative, high quality, college preparatory
boarding school. We are building leaders through teaching the head, heart, and
hands of each young person who enters these gates. The need has never been
Give from your heart, change the
life of a young PWS scholar, and help us change the world, one student at a
Go to www.pineywoods.org to give.
Several students from The Piney
Woods School had the distinct honor of being selected to attend the Mission
Mississippi summit in Jackson, Mississippi. The summit began with a reception
on the evening of April 3rd at the Governor’s mansion.
The summit, which occurs once a year,
serves as a time when officials (elected and appointed) from across the state convene
on the city of Jackson for the Governor’s Prayer Summit, hosted by Mission
Mississippi, in an attempt to bridge the racial divide in the state.
“We have the summit to teach people
to have conversations that are difficult,” said Neddie Winters, president of
The summit focused on topics that
are often disagreed upon.
“Race in Mississippi has inserted
itself in every relationship and through conversation in many ways,” said Dan
Hall, Mission Mississippi board member.
Participants are asked to actively
listen and have conversations on difficult topics to get multiple points of
view and, ultimately, to set an example for those they lead.
“Even if we walk away not agreeing,
we walk away understanding,” Hall said. “We are trying to build bridges, not
On Thursday, March 28, 2019, the
junior class from The Piney Woods School traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, to
visit the University of Mississippi.
The students were treated to a
fabulous campus tour, led by the admissions staff, and were allowed to meet and
ask questions of the Black Student Union. This organization was incorporated as
a registered organization on the campus on March 25, 1969.
When the PWS juniors visited, the
BSU had just celebrated their 50th year anniversary.
Founded in 1848, Ole Miss holds the
banner as the state’s largest university. It is also considered one of the
fastest growing institutions in the country.
When it chartered the University of Mississippi on February 24, 1844, the Mississippi Legislature laid the foundation for public higher education in the state. The university opened its doors to 80 students four years later, and for 23 years was Mississippi's only public institution of higher learning. For 110 years, it was the state's only comprehensive university.
Total enrollment on all University of Mississippi campuses, including the UM Medical Center, was 23,136 for the 2016-2017 academic year. Nearly 60 percent of the student body is from Mississippi, and 22.9 percent of students are minorities. The school offers Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees.