VISIONS Celebrates High School Graduates
WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College VISIONS Career Development and Scholarship Program celebrated the upcoming graduations of its high school seniors last week during a program at Rock Springs Center.
The annual event took place May 28 and featured words of encouragement from key players in the VISIONS partnership, including representatives from the PCC Foundation, the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation, Pitt County Schools and the Greater Greenville Foundation (GGF).
Marianne Cox, coordinator of the PCC High School VISIONS Program, said the annual graduation celebration is a chance to honor students for their hard work in earning their diplomas while meeting their VISIONS responsibilities. It is also a time to recognize everyone involved with making VISIONS successful, she said.
“Not only is this celebration a chance for us to recognize the students for their efforts, it’s an opportunity to acknowledge all of the individuals who played a role in helping them reach this important educational milestone,” Cox said.
GGF Director Melissa Spain urged students to select careers they are truly interested in pursuing. She asked the students, “If you could do anything you wanted because you weren’t afraid, what would it be?”
While all students received plaques commemorating their completion of the VISIONS high school program, several of them were given Herman Simon Awards – named in honor of a key figure in the creation of VISIONS – for academic success.
North Pitt High School’s Brittany Randolph received a Simon Award for having both the highest overall GPA and most improved GPA among her VISIONS peers. Ayden-Grifton High’s Taravia McLawhorn and Farmville Central’s Amber Wright tied for having posted the highest unweighted GPA while J.H. Rose’s Tysheana Langley recorded the most improved unweighted GPA.
Cox presented the inaugural Bulldog Award to J.H. Rose’s Annece Moore for overcoming numerous personal obstacles in order to pursue her educational goals.
“I’ve never met a student who was as determined to be successful in the classroom and in life as Annece,” Cox said. “She refuses to give up when she encounters roadblocks and continues pushing toward her goals while doing her best to help others succeed along the way.”
Started in 2004 as a way to reduce Pitt County’s drop-out rate while increasing the number of county students attending college, VISIONS provides a select group of Pitt County high school students with the direction and support they need in order to obtain diplomas and move on to higher education.
Due to the success of the first VISIONS class of 27 students that graduated in May 2005, Eddie Smith, the program’s benefactor, has increased funding over the years to allow more students to participate.
This year’s VISIONS class was comprised of 48 students representing all six Pitt County high schools. All of the students were selected for participating during their junior year of high school and have received special mentoring and advising from PCC staff as seniors.
Last summer, the students participated in a weeklong program at PCC to learn more about the educational and career options available to them locally.
Most of the students will now move on to PCC, where they will receive scholarships and continue to receive personal and academic counseling from college VISIONS staff.