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Foundation Recognizes Students and Donors During Annual Scholarship Reception

2015 PCC Foundation Scholarship Reception

WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Foundation held a reception last month to honor student scholarship recipients and thank the individuals and organizations whose generosity made the awards possible.

Each year, the PCC Foundation provides scholarships to students in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and financial need. The organization also provides a limited number of grants-in-aid as well as special funding for educational supplies.

“I’m really proud of what the Foundation is doing,” said Susan Nobles, PCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the PCC Foundation. “This past year, we awarded over $282,000 in scholarships.”

In addition to scholarships and endowments established and supported by donors, much of the PCC Foundation’s funding is raised through a variety of activities, including the Annual Community Fund Drive, Fall Golf Classic and Down East Holiday Show.

PCC President G. Dennis Massey said most of the funding raised by the PCC Foundation is used right away for student scholarships. “Really, it’s a mark of confidence that the Foundation has in what you (students) are doing here for yourselves and for the community,” he said.

During the reception, which took place Oct. 28 in the Craig F. Goess Student Center, PCC Foundation Scholarship Committee co-chairs Partha Daughtridge and Jennifer Congleton thanked the PCC Foundation’s supporters before welcoming a trio of students to the stage to share their thoughts on the importance of scholarships.

English Dean, a Raleigh native and member of the PCC intercollegiate softball team, called her State Employees Credit Union Scholarship “a heartfelt blessing.” Being a student athlete doesn’t leave much time for a job, she said, adding that her scholarship has allowed her to focus on her academic and athletic responsibilities.

“I plan to pursue a degree in nursing,” Dean said. “With such a degree, hopefully, I will be able to give back to the community, just as SECU has done. The SECU Scholarship has eased my concerns with regard to paying for my education and not leaving school with a huge debt.”

Sommer Heyward, a lifelong Greenville resident and South Central High School graduate, is also planning a nursing career. She has received scholarships from Wells-Fargo, Vidant Auxiliary Services and through her participation in the PCC VISIONS Career Development and Scholarship Program.

“The scholarships I have received to attend Pitt Community College have impacted my life by pushing me forward to more challenges than I ever dreamed possible,” Heyward said. “… The generous donors who invested in me through these scholarships are telling me through their support that they believe in me and that I am going to be successful.”

The final student speaker, Travis White, is nearing completion of the college’s Respiratory Therapy program. White, a native of Richmond, Va., received the 2015 Dr. Robert Shaw Respiratory Therapy Scholarship.

White, who says he plans to practice as a therapist for several years before continuing his education to become either a cardiovascular perfusionist or advanced practitioner, says college has been taxing on the mind and wallet. His classroom and clinical requirements, he said, take up a majority of his time.

“I spend half my week in the hospital from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., then the other half spending my days in the classroom and lab from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., which does not include the additional constant studying and after hours work on the ventilators,” White said. “If not for people like Dr. Shaw, and the other wonderful businesses and individuals in this room who made the decision to help others better themselves by allowing us to earn these generous scholarships, many of us would simply not be here, strictly based on the financial obstacles.”

Nobles agreed, saying scholarships make higher education more accessible while supporting student achievement.