a piano student at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, was invited to the White House last month by President Barack Obama to attend an East Room performance by Stevie Wonder, which culminated in Obama presenting Wonder with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, the nation's highest award in pop music. White House social secretary and New Orleans native Desirée Glapion Rogers had invited Kyle Wedberg, NOCCA's interim president, to the event. Wedberg brought Pierre as a student representative. More than 150 people attended, including other students, senators and educators.
50 Xavier University students
forewent their vacation to go on an alternative spring break to Galveston, Texas, which is still recovering from the battering delivered by Hurricane Ike last September. The group teamed up with Catholic Charities and spent the weekend assisting an elderly couple and their surrounding neighborhood with cleaning and gardening projects. Organizer Typhanie Jasper Butler said, "Xavier has hosted alternative spring break groups following Hurricane Katrina, and our students wanted an opportunity to give back as well."
16 students from Bosnia and Herzegovina
spent last week volunteering at New Orleans City Park, helping with landscaping throughout the park, including planting shrubs at Popp's Fountain. The 16 students, currently studying at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, are the first group from a foreign country to travel to New Orleans and help with the park's recovery. City Park sustained $43 million in damages from Hurricane Katrina and has received assistance from more than 25,000 volunteers to clean, repair and replant.
pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court last week to one count of theft of government funds from the Louisiana Road Home Program. Foreman-Pottinger had applied for and received a Road Home grant of $148,078.80 for an Orleans Parish rental house she claimed as her primary residence while she actually lived in Metairie. The investigation was carried out by the U.S. Attorney's Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force. Sentencing is scheduled for June 24, at which time Foreman-Pottinger faces a possible 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.