College Holds MLK Scholarship Breakfast
Dr. Garrie Moore Serves as Keynote Speaker, First MAC Scholarship Presented
By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director
WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College raised funds for a new student scholarship last week with a program that paid homage to the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr.
Held Thursday – the day after what would have been King’s 85th birthday – the 2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast featured a presentation by Dr. Garrie Moore on “The Golden Jubilee of the Civil Rights Act” – the theme of this year’s national celebration of Black History Month.
The program, which took place in the Craig F. Goess Student Center, was also an opportunity for the college to present the very first PCC Multicultural Activities Committee Scholarship to Myanmar (formerly Burma) native Tutaw. Funding for the award was generated by last year’s scholarship breakfast and will help offset the cost of Tutaw’s tuition and fees at Pitt, where he is studying Automotive Systems Technology.
A political refugee who came to the United States in 2007, Tutaw’s story of hard work and determination to make the most of his opportunities lent powerful testimony to Moore’s commentary on the legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Moore, a former PCC vice president of Student Development Services, said the legislation, which outlawed discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women, was the product of people who truly cared about future generations of Americans.
“Fifty years ago, someone cared enough to give their blood, sweat and tears, so we can have the opportunities that we have today,” he said. “… Someone 50 years ago had a vision to move this country forward.”
Referring to himself as a “beneficiary of the Civil Rights Act,” the 64-year-old Moore encouraged today’s generation to do a better job of taking advantage of the opportunities created by the landmark legislation. He said those who worked so hard to attain civil rights 50 years ago would be “upset” to know that there are still many individuals today who cannot read.
Having worked in tobacco fields throughout his youth, Moore said he made the most of his opportunity to get an education. He graduated from high school in 1967, earned a college degree and went to work, all of which he said were made possible by the Civil Rights Act.
Children today, he said, need to spend less time on the computer and playing video games and more time reading books. They should be taught the value of hard work, that life is full of challenges that must be overcome, that education is a powerful tool, and that failure to succeed in life is not an option.
“With proper education and tenacity, you can achieve,” Moore said. “… It is important we don’t fail our youth.”
Moore concluded his remarks by stressing the importance of leadership, which he defined as “a process that moves you from where you are to where you need and want to be.”
Moore encouraged audience members to make a difference in the lives of today’s youth through strong leadership and “by laying a great foundation for the next 50 years.”
“Life is like baking a cake,” he said. “You can have all of the right ingredients, but you need to know how to use them.”
In addition to Moore’s presentation, this year’s scholarship breakfast also featured remarks from Winterville Mayor Doug Jackson and Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas. Greenville City Councilman Calvin Mercer was also in attendance.