l-r: Garrett Saffold and Susannah “Reilly” Phillips

Garrett Saffold, son of Garry and Tracey Saffold, will be graduating with his high school diploma and an Associate in Arts from Wilkes Community College in spring 2018. Garrett is a homeschool student who began taking college courses through the Career and College Promise program. Garrett will pursue a degree in Anthropology at Lee University or NC State University. When Garrett was 12 years old, he developed a love of anthropology by stepping on a sharp object that turned out to be an arrowhead. After finding the artifact, he began researching and learning more about Native American culture. Over the years, Garrett has collected numerous artifacts ranging from arrowheads to native American pottery. He has started an Instagram page @lostandfoundarchaeology documenting his discoveries.

Beyond school, Garrett volunteers at a local elementary school for the “Good News club” and for Samaritan’s Purse. He is an active member at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and plays basketball at Millers Creek Christian School. “Career and College Promise has prepared me beyond measure and is helping me transition to the university level. Wilkes Community College has numerous supports in place that offer tutoring, library assistance, and guidance from instructors,” states Saffold.

In May 2018, Susannah “Reilly” Phillips will achieve not only her high school diploma but also her Associate in Arts degree from Wilkes Community College. Reilly has participated in the Career and College Promise program since her junior year, which allowed her to receive dual credit for courses satisfying high school requirements taken in college-level classes.

After graduation, Reilly plans to attend either NC State University or Appalachian State University to pursue a career in engineering or math and will have 62 college credit hours that transfer towards her four-year degree. Through the Career and College Promise program, Reilly will have earned sufficient credits for her to enter a four-year university as a junior rather than as a freshman. Before leaving 8th grade, Reilly had already decided she did not want to follow the traditional high school path and began her 9th grade year at Wilkes Early College High School (WECHS) where she won the first Miss WECHS homecoming. She later transitioned to homeschooling and her high school classes were fulfilled through college classes. She averaged 15-16 credit hours a semester, maintained a GPA of 3.4 or higher, and worked 15-20 hours per week at a part-time job. She has been active in theater productions at WCC, volunteers at Millers Creek Elementary School, provides nurturing for shelter animals, has helped deliver meals with Samaritan’s Kitchen, and attends Millers Creek United Methodist Church.

Reilly is the youngest daughter of Chuck and Kendra Phillips of Deep Gap, N.C. She has two sisters attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and one sister attending Appalachian State University. Her sisters were not aware of the Career and College Promise program and completed high school in the traditional format. However, thanks to being home schooled and qualifying for the Career and College Promise program, Reilly will begin college with two years already completed, placing her at the same college level as both of her sisters!

WCC is proud of both Garrett and Reilly and their accomplishments!

Through Career and College Promise (CCP), qualified high school age students in North Carolina can pursue this option tuition-free while they are in high school, allowing them to get a jumpstart on their workplace and college preparation. For more information about the Career and College Promise program, contact Jon Hutchins, Wilkes Public Schools, 336-838-6484; Britt Church, Wilkes private and homeschools, 336-838-6509; Miranda Roark, WCC Ashe Campus 336-903-3138; or Talina Pipes, WCC Alleghany Center, 336-903-3144.