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Base Camp Graduates Receive Strong Advice For The Future

Congressman Bennie Thompson congratulates graduates of Base Camp Coding Academy during Saturday’s commencement at Everest. Thompson was the main speaker for the event.

WATER VALLEY – Twenty-four graduates from Base Camp Coding Academy received strong advice for the future from Mississippi longest serving Congressman and from the CEO of the nation’s largest privately-owned mobile service firm. Congressman Bennie Thompson stressed the importance of a strong moral foundation during Saturday’s commencement at Everest. C Spire CEO Hu Meena urged the group to continue down a path of lifelong learning.

“Graduates we are all so proud of you. I’m proud of you, you will hear me bragging on you when I go back to Washington,” Thompson told the students who completed the intense, year-long software development training program. Thompson noted technology has helped closed the gap for rural Mississippi students, and with the skills acquired at Base Camp the graduates will have unlimited opportunities.

Thompson also addressed the parents and grandparents of the graduates, noting the sacrifices that come with raising children.

“Now all of those bill that you have been paying, they are going to shift over,” Thompson said to a round of laughter.

The congressman then challenged the group to become productive citizens.

“Celebrate today, and then figure out your next step… Now how do you do that?” Thompson asked. “You have to keep your church home. You have to have a moral foundation. It’s that moral foundation that makes you who you are.”

Meena shared the rich four-decade history of C Spire, pointing to countless technological advances that have changed the world.

“I will not embarrass myself by trying to predict the great tech inventions of the next 40 years, however I will make this prediction: artificial intelligence (AI) will drive almost every one of them,” Meena said about the future.

Meena cautioned that every one of the graduates will be significantly influenced by AI.
“Or maybe you will influence AI. For better or for worse, AI has the potential to be the most powerful technological tool ever invented,” Meena said. He added that the AI era has arrived and graduates could have an opportunity to influence what AI might become.

“How so?” Meena asked. “By understanding today that you are not at the end of your learning curve, but at the beginning. The more you learn in your next educational endeavor, or your next job, the greater opportunity you will have to influence emerging technologies with your emerging software development skills.”

Meena closed by challenging the students to make a profound difference for good in the world.

“Because God has a plan designed specifically for you to give you a future and a hope. My charge to you as you continue down your path of lifelong learning is this: Use your time well, continue to learn, commit to doing well and most importantly, seek the Lord’s plan for your life. It contains no system errors,” Meena said.

The graduating class marked the seventh for Base Camp. The graduates are Brooks Austin, Eric Cervantes, Chevy Cook, Mike Duarte, Colt Fields, Joshua Griffis, Dylan Herring, Isaiah James, Malcolm Johnson, Errin McGillivray, Anna McLeod, Cooper McVay, Amber Montgomery, Luke Murchison, Cannon Narmour, James W. Pettit, Kevin Ramos, Zaul Rangel, Angela Reeves, Lukas Strider, River Stults, Antonio Thornton and Gabriel Zinn.

The next class starts May 30 with 31 incoming students.

C Spire CEO and Chairman Hu Meena addressed the Base Camp graduates. C Spire has supported Base Camp Coding Academy since it launched in 2016.

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