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41 Local Seventh Grade Students – Including 16 in Watauga – Receive Dream Awards to Attend CCC&TI

Pictured are 27 of the 2012 Dream Award Recipients who were honored at a recent ceremony at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center. As Dream Scholars, the seventh-grade students will receive free tuition to attend CCC&TI upon their graduation from high school.

Oct. 15, 2012. HUDSON — In a recent ceremony held at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s J.E. Broyhill Civic Center, 41 local seventh-grade students were named Dream Scholars, ensuring free tuition to attend CCC&TI upon their graduation from high school. Of the 41 students, 16 were from schools here in Watauga County.

Dream Award recipients are nominated as sixth-grade students in Caldwell or Watauga counties. Those selected must be first-generation college students, who have demonstrated academic achievement and civic involvement, and who have the potential to succeed. 

The Dream Program was started at CCC&TI in 1989 by Dr. Tony Deal. The program was modeled after an idea from New York philanthropist Eugene Lang. Lenoir Rotarian and businessman Mr. Ed McGimpsey funded the first award and the following year, the Foundation Board of CCC&TI voted to fund 25 additional awards. This year, the Foundation awarded the 1,000th Dream Certificate bringing the total for both Caldwell and Watauga Counties to 1,019.

Peg Broyhill, Chair of the Foundation Board, opened the ceremony by welcoming scholars, their families and guests.  “Tonight is a celebration where dreams really do come true. I want to congratulate this year’s Dream Scholars, the class of 2018,” said Broyhill.

Dena Holman, Vice President of Student Services at CCC&TI, spoke about the history and purpose of the program. Holman reported that to date, 65 percent of Dream Award recipients old enough to attend college have enrolled at CCC&TI.

Several of this year’s Dream Award recipients were speakers at the event. Blake Greene, from William Lenoir Middle School, spoke about always being determined to go to college because of encouragement from his mom. “Now that I have received the Dream Award, I don’t wonder about where I am going to college for my first two years or how I am going to pay for it,” said Greene, who is also a TRIO/Education Talent Search student. “In receiving the Dream Award, I will be the first person in my family to receive a college level education. Thank you CCC&TI, the Foundation and TRIO/ETS for the great opportunity you have given me.”

Izaiah Martel, a student at Mabel Elementary School in Watauga County, also spoke. “This means that I will be able to have a good job when I grow up and make good money,” he said. “This means a lot for my family, too. This is a win-win for me and my family.” 

Broyhill recognized Foundation Board Members, as well as local contributors and supporters who make the Dream Award possible. She recognized the Coffey Foundation and the Broyhill Family Foundation who have endowed funds for support of the program.  Broyhill also recognized Jim and Janice Hogan and The Hogan Family Foundation, whose support helps cover the cost of books for Caldwell County Dream Scholars who attend CCC&TI. 

Also speaking during the event were Dream Program Graduates Eduardo Castañeda, a 2002 Dream Recipient from Granite Falls Middle School and Billy Woods, a 2004 Dream Recipient from Hudson Middle School.

Castañeda is a graduate of South Caldwell High School and a 2010 graduate of CCC&TI. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and is now pursuing medical school. “If it hadn’t been for this scholarship, God knows where I would be right now. It really comes in handy to have two years of your college education paid for. It paves the way for who you are going to become,” said Castañeda. “In life, as you all know, we weren’t born with directions on how to achieve what we want to achieve. But what you will find out in the near future is that this program is a great guide for finding out what you will be doing in the future.” 

Woods is a 2012 graduate of CCC&TI. He has degrees in Business Administration and Logistics Management. “I would like to say thank you to the Foundation for this scholarship and to the Hogan Foundation for the book fund,” he said. “My major dream is to be successful. I try to work as hard as I can at everything I do. If you are doing what you love, you will be successful. Thank you.”

Dr. Tony Deal introduced each of this year’s Dream Award Recipients and Mary Frances Sullivan, Chairperson of the Dream Committee, presented each student their certificate.  Scholars introduced themselves and shared their school and career goals for the future. A reception was held in their honor following the ceremony. 

2012 Dream Award Recipients

Chelsea Adams — Bethel Elementary School
David Arnette — Parkway Elementary School
Kendal Benfield — Hudson Middle School
Kristy Blevins — Collettsville Elementary School
Rebecca Buckner — Blowing Rock Elementary School
Destiny Coffey — Gamewell Middle School
Kortney Coffey — Blowing Rock Elementary School
Prairie Dalton — William Lenoir Middle School
Bailey Ellis — Hudson Middle School
Randall Fleming Jr. — Hudson Middle School
Kelly Gomez — Granite Falls Middle School
Kameron Graham — Collettsville Elementary School
Blake Greene* — William Lenoir Middle School
Gage Greene — Cove Creek Elementary School
Kassandra Greene — Green Valley Elementary School
Abygail Grubb — Green Valley Elementary School
Thomas Helton — Kings Creek Elementary School
Rubi Escobar Jaramillo — Parkway Elementary School
Mackenzie Johnson — Hardin Park Elementary School
Bryson Kirby** — Granite Falls Middle School
Dixie Laws — Kings Creek Elementary School
Kevin Lopez*** — Granite Falls Middle School
Tony Lopez — Hudson Middle School
Katana Lowman — Hudson Middle School
Izaiah Martel — Mabel Elementary School
Nevada McClellan — Happy Valley School
Stephen Mocilan — Hardin Park Elementary School
Caitlin Moody — Gamewell Middle School
Jennifer Ortega — Gamewell Middle School
Ethan Perry — Valle Crucis Elementary School
Austin Phillips — Bethel Elementary School
Hunter Pope — Happy Valley School
Alexandria Rudisill — Hudson Middle School
Walter Schronce — William Lenoir Middle School
Hunter Shew — Collettsville Elementary
Vanessa Saufley — Cove Creek Elementary
Kloee Sawyer — Valle Crucis Elementary School
Elise South — Mabel Elementary School
Steven Spears — Oak Hill Elementary
Jasmine Terry — Granite Falls Middle School
Jose Yax — Granite Falls Middle School

Bold indicates students from WCS
*Dr. Tony Deal Dream Award recipient
**Dot and Jim Moore Dream Award recipient
***Debbie Yount Dream Award recipient

For more information on the Dream Program, contact Marla Christie, Foundation Executive Director at 828-726-2203.