Toyota Wellspring Fund

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The Toyota Education Endowment Fund is the $50 million gift Toyota announced at its groundbreaking in 2007.  Payable over a 10-year period, the goal of the education gift is to create a perpetual fund to enhance education in the eight school districts in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties, offering all students in public schools opportunities they may not have had. It is administered by the Toyota Educational Endowment Fund Advisory Committee.

Over the past decade, CREATE through the recommendation of the Toyota Wellspring Advisory Committee used the proceeds from the endowment to enhance education in Lee, Pontotoc and Union Counties.

DIVE IN 2016

Toyota Wellspring Grants Support …

● Professional development opportunities for educators and administrators in eight

school districts in Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties.

● Curriculum audits resulting in the development of curriculum tool kits to assist

teacher in all eight school districts in the three counties

● Provided $1million in grants which were used to improve technology, provide

infrastructure, and enhance early childhood education in eight school districts

● Travel and registration costs were provided for school district teams to attend

national conferences and professional development events

● Dual Enrollment courses in web app design, healthcare careers, aviation, and

advanced manufacturing, to include internship opportunities

● Tuition for summer STEM camps held at MSU and Ole Miss, as well as

advanced manufacturing camps hosted at NEMCC and ICC

● Linking education to careers through an initiative which included hiring a national

consulting firm to conduct interviews, provide guidance to educators and

business leaders as to how better prepare students for the workforce demand

● The establishment of a guiding committee, consisting of educators and business

leaders, which help to develop systemic change linking education to careers in

kindergarten through grade 12

● The concept and planning of the Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo begun in

2015, and held annually each October, exposing over 7,200 8th graders to

careers in 18th professional pathways

● Funding for the Teacher of the Year Awards in each of the eight school districts

across three counties

Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo Video 2018

Students learn about engineering through grants

provided by the Toyota Wellspring Fund.


Toyota Wellspring Education Fund 10-Year Anniversary Marketing Campaign
(click on the brochure image to learn more about the campaign)

Toyota Wellspring Education Fund 10-Year Anniversary Video

Career Café- Career Coaches organize Career Café’s exposing high school students to academic, career and certification opportunities.

Career Coach Picture- Inaugural group of 11 Career Coaches hired to serve 14 high schools in Pontotoc, Union, & Lee Counties supporting students in career awareness and pathways to professional experiences. 

IMPACTO Picture- The IMPACTO High School internship students participating in a Toyota plant tour.

STEAM grants- Providing students opportunities, in grades K-12, to explore careers and skills sets for problem-solving and critical thinking. 

Toyota Wellspring Education Fund Advisory Committee

Ricky Ferguson
Pontotoc, Mississippi

David Rumbarger
Tupelo, Mississippi

Mike Staten
BNA Bank
New Albany, Mississippi

Sean Suggs
President Toyota Motor Manufacturing MS, Inc. 
Blue Springs, Mississippi


Greg Pirkle
Partner, Phelps Dunbar, LLP
Tupelo, Mississippi

Wendy Clemons
Executive Director, Office of Secondary Education
MS Department of Education
Jackson, Mississippi

Committee Advisors

Dr. Kristy Luse
Vice-President, Toyota Wellspring Education Fund
Tupelo, Mississippi

Mike Clayborne
President, CREATE
Tupelo, Mississippi