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Six students receive SECU scholarships

May 17, 2019

A total of six MCC Continuing Education students were awarded State Employee Credit Union (SECU) Bridge to Career Scholarships this spring. On March 29, three BLET students and one NAII student were each presented with their awards and on June 3, two recent completers of MCC's NA I class were also recognized. A total of ten MCC students have received SECU scholarships in the current 2018-19 Academic Year.

Those receiving scholarships on March 29 included Dawson Dunlow, Ronalda Tolefree-Vinson, Gregory Prescott, and Samantha Rodgers. Dunlow, Tolefree-Vinson, and Prescott completed MCC's BLET program in January 2019. Rodgers completed the Nurse Aide (NA) II program.

Tolefree-Vinson stated, "This scholarship has allowed me to pursue my passion of becoming a law enforcement officer."

Both June 3 recipients, Charmaine White of Oak City, and Patricia Dixon of Williamston, successfully completed an NA (Nurse Aide) I class at MCC to qualify for the scholarships.

Launched in 2013, and revamped in 2018, SECU's Bridge to Career Scholarship Program strives to help remove financial barriers for unemployed and underemployed students seeking careers with sustainable wages in their local communities. Administered by each college, the initiative focuses on assisting individuals with finding vocational and job placement opportunities through eligible training programs that lead to state-regulated or industry-recognized credentials. Scholarship funding will be applied to educational expenses and other expenditures associated with their program of study through a North Carolina Community College workforce development program.

While accepting her certificate and check, Patricia Dixon stated, "I had worked in factories for 30 years. At my age, the last lay-off nearly devastated me. I had no job prospects in sight. I decided it was time to try a different kind of work, so I signed up for the NA I program at MCC and fell in love with it. Just as my unemployment benefits were about to run out, I was notified about this scholarship. I was so happy and relieved, I just broke down and cried. Next week I start my new job at a nursing home! And I have already signed up for the next NAII class. MCC has changed my life."

Charmaine White was also very appreciative of the scholarship. She is already working at MacGregor Downs Rehabilitation Center in Greenville and plans to "move higher up the ladder and become a Registered Nurse."

State Employees' Credit Union's local Advisory Board member Judy Jennette comments, "SECU members share a deep commitment to education and the cooperative spirit of helping others. The SECU Bridge to Career Program is an opportunity to help these students succeed, opening doors that will challenge and prepare them for a new career and future in today's workplace. On behalf of SECU Foundation, it gives me great pleasure to offer our congratulations to the scholarship recipients."

With this $435,000 commitment for Continuing Education Scholarships and SECU Foundation's annual $580,000 "People Helping People" Community College Scholarships, funding for the NC Community College System now totals over $1 million.