College News

CCCC Foundation unites scholarship donors, recipients

CCCC Foundation unites scholarship donors, recipients

click to enlarge ⊗

The Central Carolina Community College Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Luncheon Nov. 13 a ... (more)

CCCC Foundation unites scholarship donors, recipients

click to enlarge ⊗

The Central Carolina Community College Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Luncheon Nov. 13 a ... (more)

CCCC Foundation unites scholarship donors, recipients

click to enlarge ⊗

The Central Carolina Community College Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Luncheon Nov. 13 a ... (more)

CCCC Foundation unites scholarship donors, recipients

click to enlarge ⊗

The Central Carolina Community College Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Luncheon Nov. 13 a ... (more)

CCCC Foundation unites scholarship donors, recipients

click to enlarge ⊗

The Central Carolina Community College Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Luncheon Nov. 13 a ... (more)

11.18.2013College & CommunityCollege GeneralFoundationStudents/Graduates

SANFORD - Three years ago, Seth Tom was a dishwasher in Lee County.

Now, based on his success at Central Carolina Community College, he is preparing to transfer to St. Johns University, in New York, to obtain a bachelor's degree.

"All of the things I accomplished would not have been possible without the Central Carolina Community College Foundation and its scholarship donors," Tom said.

He addressed the Foundation's Nov. 13 Scholarship Luncheon at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, sharing his success story. For the scholarship recipients, the luncheon was an opportunity to meet and personally thank those who are helping them afford their education. For the donors, it connected a face and story to their generosity.

"I was a dishwasher in Lee County and didn't think there was much I could do to change that," he told the gathering of about 270 scholarship donors and recipients. "Then, as I listened to WDCC, the college's radio station, I wondered if there could be something better for me."

He also saw the movie, "Invictus," and was moved by the lines in the William Earnest Henley poem of the same name: "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."

"I realized that one way I could transcend economic and social barriers was through education," Tom told the gathering.

He enrolled in the college's Broadcast Production Technology program and excelled. His academic record earned him a CCCC Ambassadors Scholarship, which helped pay for his education. He received his Associate in Applied Science in May. Now, with the assistance of a Central Electric Membership Corporation Scholarship, he is earning his Associate in Arts degree and has been accepted by St. Johns.

CCCC President Dr. Bud Marchant thanked the scholarship donors for their support and generosity to the students.

"For me, along with graduation, this is one of the highlights of the academic year," he said. "What you do for these students can't be described in the two words, 'thank you,' but they are all we have. The difference you have made, the difference you will make in their lives is phenomenal."

For the 2013-14 school year, the Foundation awarded $106,000 in scholarships to 167 students.

Velner Jones, of Sanford, has been helping CCCC students pay for their educations since her husband, Robert Jones, passed away 15 years ago.

"I asked for no flowers, no gifts," she said. "I asked that the money go to the college to establish the Robert D. Jones Memorial Scholarship. I taught chemistry at Lee Senior for 22 years and education is what I'm interested in. I'm grateful to CCCC because it gives students the opportunity to move on."

Melissa Buchanan, of Sanford, is the current recipient of that scholarship, which is helping her continue Medical Assisting program studies.

"The scholarship means I'll be able to come back for the spring semester," she said. "I had been out of school and out of the workforce for 14 years. Thank you, Mrs. Jones, for this scholarship. I feel honored."

Cancer took the life of scholarship recipient Dawn Gregory's husband. Inspired by the nursing care he received, the Buies Creek resident decided to become a nurse. She is now studying nursing at CCCC, going to school full-time and working full-time.

"I see going into nursing as my opportunity to give back," she said. "I received the Mary Lois Harris Hayes Memorial Scholarship. Without that, it would be difficult to come up with the money for college."

Lisa Buxton, of Pittsboro, is attending CCCC with the help of the Raymond Francis O'Brien Jr. Memorial Scholarship. At the luncheon, she met his widow, Carol, and his sister, Barbara Wilson. O'Brien had run a vending business and always gave part of his profits to fund scholarships for students in the counties where he did business. Carol said her husband was always interested in people having educational opportunities. That struck a responsive chord with Buxton, who is currently enrolled in CCCC's Dental Hygiene program.

"I am very appreciative of this scholarship," she said, adding, "Someday, I hope to establish a scholarship to help others."

The CCCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization affiliated with, but independent of, the college. It receives donations of money and equipment on behalf of the college and uses them to promote its educational mission and assist students through scholarships and grants.

For information on establishing scholarships or endowments, contact Emily Hare, CCCC Foundation and Development director, at 919-718-7230 or ehare@cccc.edu. To apply for a scholarship, contact the CCCC Financial Aid Office at www.cccc.edu/financialaid or 919-718-7229.