Nov
8

Building Robots. Shaping Young Minds.

Mentoring the Kell Robotics Team through the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Leadership Foundation takes real heart – something Rajiv Thomas, Gas South systems engineer, knows well.

The Kell Robotics Team is a group of about 16 high school students who participate in two regional competitions each year in hopes of making it to the state championship and ultimately, the world championship.

Every January, competing teams take part in a kickoff event at Georgia Tech where they’re tasked with building a robot in 60 days. That robot then has to complete a challenge to move forward in the competition.

Rajiv is part of a group of volunteers that mentor the team which meets at least twice a week to plan, design and build the amazingly efficient robot and ensure that it’s ready for the showdown.
Last year, the Kell Robotics’ team won the Chairman’s Award at the Georgia State Championships to make it to the world championship in Houston. And even though their robot didn’t place, the kids who get to learn from these experiences are the real winners.

“Anyone can build a robot and compete, “said Rajiv. “We push kids to problem solve on their own. We don’t do the work for them – we just guide them. It’s truly fulfilling to watch the kids think outside the box and work through obstacles.”

The Chairman’s Award recognizes teams for how they encourage STEM education – it honors the team that inspires others to get involved in STEM. The Kell Robotics Team has proudly won the award a few times.“We encourage a love of STEM – and see our students become better people,” Rajiv added. “When we were at the World Competition, the team from Israel was not able to get their batteries through Homeland Security. Our students offered to let them borrow our batteries when we weren’t using them. That was a proud moment for me.”

Rajiv tirelessly encourages students to grow outside the classroom. He’s passionate about igniting the imaginations of young minds and is truly an inspiration to others who also have a desire to be a fuel for good.

 

 

 

Oct
12

Connecting with Young Women in the Community

For Kristen Hopper, Gas South Operations Analyst I, cheerleading is more than just a sport. It’s a way to connect with young women in her community, and help to build their confidence and develop important life skills through performances and friendships.

In high school, Kristen developed a passion for working with kids with special needs after volunteering with the Special Olympics. She was coaching cheerleading when she decided to put her talents to work to make a difference – and that’s how the Fabulous Flames Cheerleaders were born. The cheerleaders range in age from as young as five years old, to women in their 20s. They also have a wide range of abilities – there’s no disability that can preclude someone from joining. All that’s needed is a desire to cheer and a will to learn!

The Fabulous Flames perform at local cheerleading competitions through Impact Cheerleading, a competitive league that brings together faith and a love for cheerleading.

When Kristen established the team in 2011, there were only seven girls on the team. Today, it has now grown to almost 30 members.

“I’ve been so blessed to see the original seven as well as the rest of the team grow up together over time – becoming more mature, kind and ever-loving each year,” said Kristen. “Our biweekly practices are simultaneously the most high energy and most relaxing hours of my week. There is just something about our team that leaves you both recharged and serene after being with us.”

Kristen is pursuing her own desire to Be a Fuel for Good. She’s elevating her community and positively influencing the lives of the girls she mentors every week. She’s also inspiring others to get outside of their comfort zone.

Kristen – Thank you for your dedication to warming the lives of friends and neighbors!

Jan
20

A Day On, Not Off

In recognition of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, MLK Day of Service events are held nationwide. On Monday, January 16, we once again spent the day on – not off – as more than 50 Gas South employees and their family members volunteered with A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab Boulevard location.

Volunteers spent the day with residents – decorating doors for Valentine’s Day, helping residents create no sew blankets, downloading music and distributing iPods, assisting with BINGO and providing swag bags for more than 238 residents and staff of A. G. Rhodes. At the request of the staff, the MLK Day activities culminated with a sing-a-long. Aided by the center’s music therapist, employees and families reminisced and performed musical selections that the residents could identify with.

A.G. Rhodes is Atlanta’s and Marietta’s top nursing home provider of senior rehabilitation services and long-term care. As a not-for-profit organization, A.G. Rhodes provides the highest standard of care, which includes post-surgical recovery, therapeutic rehabilitation, and skilled nursing.

We’re thankful for the opportunity to share our time with A.G. Rhodes and support their mission. It’s our first of many volunteer days in 2017 and a meaningful touch point for our ongoing community outreach program, Gas South Cares. Here’s to moving us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

Oct
7

Hands on Atlanta Day 2016

We spoke to Brenda Turner, residential channel coordinator, to learn more about Hands on Atlanta Day and what it means to her to volunteer in the communities where we live, work and play.

By: Brenda Turner

One of my favorite things about being a Gas South employee is the company’s dedication to giving back to the community. We participate in many local service programs year-round, and most recently, I had the opportunity to lead Hands On Day Atlanta Day 2016 – the largest and most prestigious corporate volunteer day of service in Atlanta.

Approximately 50 Gas South employees volunteered a total of 200 hours at Camp Timber Ridge in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. We helped spruce up the campground – chopping wood, clearing roadways, putting up new tents and painting pavilions.

Though it may be what they’re best known for, the Girl Scouts do a lot more than sell delicious cookies – just like Gas South does more than market natural gas! But don’t take my word for it. Check out this short video about our experience volunteering with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta for Hands on Atlanta Day.