In a recent ceremony held at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir, the Foundation of CCC&TI named 45 local seventh-grade students as this year’s Dream Scholars. The Dream Award ensures free tuition to attend CCC&TI upon graduation from high school. The program, offered through the Foundation, is in its 28th year and has presented 1,188 awards since its inception.
Dream Award recipients are selected from among sixth-grade students in Caldwell and 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.
CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch opened the ceremony by welcoming scholars, their families and guests. “I’d like to be one of the first to congratulate you on receiving this award. Congratulations to the class of 2023,” said Poarch. “Students, this is a record crowd tonight and everyone in this room is here to support you. You have so many cheerleaders and so many people in your corner. You’re going to reach your goals and reach them with the help of the people in this room.” Poarch also recognized members of CCC&TI’s Board of Trustees who were in attendance for the event.
Peg Broyhill, Chairwoman of the CCC&TI Foundation, spoke to those gathered at the ceremony and congratulated this year’s scholars. “Tonight is a special night as we celebrate the Dream Award Program. Students, I want you all to know that dreams really do come true,” said Broyhill. “You have already stood out in someone’s eyes. You have gone above and beyond in demonstrating good character, leadership and achievement. You are a remarkable group of students.”
Broyhill recognized the donors who have made the program possible. “The community’s longtime support of this program is truly amazing,” said Broyhill. She then asked Foundation donors and supporters, CCC&TI faculty and staff. “Students. Look around this room,” she said. “We are so proud of your efforts and from this moment forward, we will be cheering you on and encouraging you to be all that you can be. We all believe in each and every one of you.”
Broyhill also recognized her fellow Foundation Board members as well as CCC&TI, Caldwell and Watauga county school administrators as well as various local organizations, civic groups, churches and clubs whose contributions help make the program possible. She gave special thanks for endowments and grants made possible by the Broyhill Family Foundation, the Coffey Foundation, the Granite Falls High School Class of 1963 and the Rose and Dwight Church Family. Broyhill also thanked the Hogan Family Foundation for their help in covering book expenses for Dream recipients and announced that a similar fund has been established to help cover book expenses for Watauga County Dream recipients.
Dena Holman, Vice President of Student Services at CCC&TI, spoke about the history and purpose of the program, which was first introduced at CCC&TI in 1989 by Dr. Tony Deal. The program was later implemented by The Foundation Board with a purpose of encouraging students to identify career options, earn good grades, complete high school and attend college.
Holman then introduced speakers Morgan Smith and Jessica Snead, two Dream Scholars who have since completed their degrees at CCC&TI and are now employed in the community.
Morgan Smith received the Dream Award in 2008 while attending 6th grade at William Lenoir Middle School. Smith earned her Associate in Arts Degree from CCC&TI in December 2016. She is currently employed as an office support specialist with a local mental health agency and also runs her own small business as an artist, designing and painting murals, and taking personal and business art commissions designing logos, tattoos, and other specialized art projects. “Without the Dream Scholarship, I probably wouldn’t have even been able to continue my education and would not be where I am today,” she said. “The scholarship helped me earn the position I am currently working in and also gave me the opportunity to complete many types of art classes at the college. Art is my passion and being able to attend CCC&TI opened up many doors for me to better my skills.” Smith encouraged students to continue to work hard and to take advantage of their Dream Award. “The Dream Scholarship can take you places that you never thought were possible. Pursue your dreams and nothing can stop you.”
Jessica Snead received the Dream Award in 1993 while attending Granite Falls Middle School. Snead earned her degree in Accounting from CCC&TI in 2011 and is currently enrolled in the college’s Cardiovascular Sonography program with plans to graduate in May 2018. “Having an education is something you don’t want to pass up. No one can take your education from you,” said Snead. “Don’t give up. The support system here at CCC&TI is fantastic. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. They’ll help you find and follow you dream. Congratulations!”
Dream recipients introduced themselves one-by-one and shared their career goals for the future. Each received a certificate commemorating their award. A reception for recipients and their families was held following the ceremony.
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2017 Dream Award Recipients
- Emily Bowlin, Bethel Elementary School
- Mikyrin Buckner-Kirby, Oak Hill School
- Maleah Contreras, Granite Falls Middle School
- Alexa Ortiz Coronel, Collettsville School
- Nickolas Cutillo, Blowing Rock School
- Autumn Darnell, William Lenoir Middle School
- Azaiah Delira, Cove Creek School
- Kathryn Drummond, Valle Crucis School
- Emily Eggers, Mabel Elementary School
- Jacob Foust, Kings Creek School
- Harley Fowler, Granite Falls Middle School *Debbie Yount Dream Award Recipient
- Hayley Gose, William Lenoir Middle School
- Waylen Greer, Kings Creek School
- Devin Gregg, Bethel Elementary School
- Morgan Hendrix, Happy Valley School *Dwight and Rose Church Dream Award Recipient
- Joel Jones, Gamewell Middle School
- Will Jones, Hudson Middle School
- Aubree Leal, Hudson Middle School *Dr. Tony Deal Dream Award Recipient
- Kimberly Mai, Hardin Park School *Optimist Club of Boone Dream Award Recipient
- Mary McClure, Oak Hill School *Dot and Jim Moore Dream Award Recipient
- Lauren Miller, Green Valley School
- Elijah Nash, William Lenoir Middle School
- Peyton Olive, Happy Valley School
- Alley Oliver, Oak Hill School
- Benjamin Chance Phillips, Parkway School *Optimist Club of Boone Dream Award Recipient
- Rebecca Presnell, Cove Creek School
- Shelby Presnell, Valle Crucis School
- Lynse Rangel, Gamewell Middle School
- Raven Rhyne, Gamewell Middle School
- Ryley Rhyne, Gamewell Middle School
- Lynsie Russell, Collettsville School
Shania Salley, Kings Creek School
- Kayla Salmeron, Hudson Middle School
- Nina Shi, William Lenoir Middle School
- Isaiah Shirley, Hardin Park School
- Sandra Smith, Granite Falls Middle School
- Layla Spears, Happy Valley School
- Ashley Staley, Green Valley School
- Bruce Tefteller, Collettsville School
- Alexis Tressler, Valle Crucis School
- Hailey Trivette, Parkway School
- Gretchin Turbyfill, Parkway School
- Riley Underwood, Mabel Elementary School
- Rilea Wike, Blowing Rock School
- Amira Younce, Hardin Park School