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VISIONS Introduces New Student Participants to Local Career and Educational Options

Following their tour of Grady-White Boats, PCC VISIONS staff and students take time out for a group photo in front of the Greenville-based boat manufacturer's sign.

PHOTO GALLERY

WINTERVILLE—Just days after completing their junior year of high school, students recently accepted into Pitt Community College’s VISIONS Career Development and Scholarship Program participated in the annual Summer Institute to learn more about career and educational options available to them locally.

Last week, VISIONS welcomed 53 rising Pitt County seniors to campus for the four-day program, which combines presentations by PCC personnel with curriculum tours and visits to local businesses to give the students valuable information that will guide them through the final year of high school.

“The Summer Institute is an opportunity for us to stress the value of a college education and show our newest VISIONS participants that they, too, can be successful personally and professionally right here in Pitt County,” said Marianne Cox, PCC Director of VISIONS & HORIZONS. “We also wanted them to know that they must meet certain expectations in the months ahead and that we’re going to support them along the way.”

The week began with a visit to Greenville’s Grady-White Boats, which is owned by VISIONS benefactor Eddie Smith. There, the students toured the boat manufacturing facility and received sage advice for personal and career success from Grady-White Boats President Kris Carroll.

“The Summer Institute always begins at Grady-White, so the students know immediately that someone from their community cares enough about their success to financially support a program that will help them achieve it,” Cox said.

On campus, students completed the “True Colors” career assessment to identify personal strengths and weakness and explore career options that would best fit them. They also took part in numerous hands-on activities, including intubating manikins and making birdhouses with Building Construction Technology instructors, to learn more about the programs PCC offers.

“We wanted the students to experience the kind of hands-on instruction they can receive at PCC once they graduate from high school,” said Rebecca Warren, PCC VISIONS High School Coordinator.

Students interested in more technical fields of employment were able to visit Winterville’s The Roberts Company and tour its welding facilities.

“We wanted the students in the VISIONS technical program to get a firsthand look at what a welder does and the job opportunities that are available for them to pursue as a career,” said VISIONS Technical High School Coordinator Jim Shallow.

Started in 2004 to help reduce Pitt County’s drop-out rate while increasing the number of county students attending college, VISIONS is the product of a partnership between the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation, the PCC Foundation and Pitt County Schools.

Each year, the program provides select Pitt County students with the direction and support they need to obtain diplomas and move into higher education. All VISIONS participants are chosen as high school juniors based on several criteria, including academic success and family income, and will receive special mentoring and advising as seniors.

Cox noted that in the 11 years since VISIONS began, nearly 100 percent of its participants have completed high school. Those who move on to PCC, she said, receive scholarships and personal and academic counseling at the college.


06/22/2015