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Foundation of CCC&TI Hosts Reception for Scholars and Donors

Published: 3/28/2024

The Foundation of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute recently held a special reception in honor of the 2023-2024 Foundation Scholarship recipients and donors at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. The event provided an opportunity for student recipients to meet and talk with the donors who made their scholarships possible through contributions to the Foundation.

CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch and Foundation Board Vice-Chair Deborah Murray opened the event and welcomed all those in attendance, thanking donors for their continued support of CCC&TI and local students.

Vice-Chair Murray summed up the overall spirit of the event with her comments: “Donors, you chose to spend this money on the hopes and dreams of others, people you didn’t know when you set it aside, but those people are family now, part of our community, part of our college and part of your legacy,” she said. “Thank you for your investments. Thank you for this moment and the lifetimes of success that will come from your generosity. We all thank you!”

Deborah Murray

Foundation Vice-Chair Deborah Murray who spoke at the event, thanking donors for their investment in education and local students.

The event also featured two student scholarship recipients who shared about their journey and how their Foundation scholarships have impacted their lives.

Jessica Bullock, a nursing student on CCC&TI’s Watauga Campus in Boone, shared that her journey to becoming a student took a bit longer than she had anticipated due to a medical condition that caused seizures. Ultimately, the condition led to a total of eight brain surgeries and a lengthy recovery. Bullock, who had previously worked in the healthcare field prior to her diagnoses, was unable to continue work and even lost her driver’s license at one point due to the severity of her condition. But, during her recovery, Bullock shared that she became more determined than ever to earn her nursing degree and to follow her passion and calling to the healthcare field. She started with online classes while recovering from her procedures, eventually earning two certifications that allowed her to get back to work as a medical assistant and phlebotomist. With that experience, Bullock shared that she decided she wanted to keep learning.

“I applied to CCC&TI and began taking the necessary courses to enroll in the nursing program and thanks to the wonderful teachers and staff, I am currently in my second semester of nursing school,” she said. “And thanks to this scholarship, I have been able to commit a lot more time to my studies and I am confident that this will result in getting the most out of my education, good grades and most importantly more preparedness for working in the nursing field. It is my sincere hope to pay it forward and use my education to make a difference in the lives of others,” she said. “I want to offer many thanks to the donors who make these scholarships possible. Thank you.”

Jessica Bullock and Peg Broyhill

Jack and Shirley Robbins Nursing Scholarship recipient Jessica Bullock (left), who spoke at the event, with Foundation Chair Peg Broyhill.

Medical Assisting student Brandon Townsend also expressed his appreciation for his scholarship and the opportunities it has provided for him to pursue a new career. “We are here to celebrate the generous people who help others to better their lives. As a recipient of this true act of kindness, I know how life changing this generosity can be,” said Townsend. “I am a husband, a dad to five beautiful children. I also work full-time… and take college courses full-time online. If you had told me a year ago that I would be on this journey today, I would have looked at you and said ‘who, me?’ But here I am as a scholarship recipient,” he shared. “I am almost done with two of five semesters required to get my degree in Human Services Technology with a concentration in Mental Health – two semesters that could not have been taken without this scholarship.” Townsend says once he completes his studies, he plans to use his degree to obtain work in a hospice or nursing home environment. In closing he expressed his thanks and spoke to the far- reaching impact of his scholarship. “Last but not least, I want to thank the donors. I would have never been able to afford college without a scholarship, so in my case, that generous donation not only changes my ife, but the life of my family and everyone God allows me to help in the years to come. Thank you.”

Foundation Board Chair Peg Broyhill closed the event by extending her gratitude to the donors and the students in attendance. “This has been such a special event. I want to add my congratulations to all of our scholarship recipients here this afternoon,” she said. “It’s been wonderful to meet and talk with these students. We wish you every success in meeting your goals!”

Jimmy Hemphill and Brandon Townsend

Jimmy and Nancy Hemphill Scholarship recipient Brandon Townsend (right), who spoke at the event, with donor and Foundation supporter, Jimmy Hemphill.

The Foundation of CCC&TI is currently conducting its 2024 Annual Fund Drive Campaign, which raises funds for scholarships, the Dream Award Program, student emergency assistance and other priorities. For more information or to make a donation to the Annual Fund Drive, visit www.cccti.edu/donate or call the Foundation at 828-726-2260