The following students graduated with their high school diploma and an associate degree through the WCC Career and College Promise program.
Cassidy Clack, son of Darren and Wendy Webb of North Wilkesboro and the late Danny Clack, graduated with his high school diploma and an Associate in Science from Wilkes Community College in the spring of 2019. He received the Program Excellence Award in Arts and Sciences from Wilkes Community College. Clack started the Career and College Promise program when he was a junior in high school. His plan is to attend Gardner-Webb University in the fall where he will pursue a degree in Computer Science. Clack states, “While at WCC, I had a great advisor and instructors who were always there to help me whenever I had questions. WCC also offers tutoring and other forms of academic support. Being at WCC has helped prepare me for the university and has helped me excel academically.
Gabriel Griffin, son of Michelle and Jackie Griffin of Millers Creek graduated with his high school diploma and an Associate in Applied Science – Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology degree in the spring of 2019. Gabriel hopes to start a career in diesel performance and would like to open his own diesel shop in the future. One of his favorite courses while at WCC was diesel engines. Gabriel has maintained over a 3.0 G.P.A. In his spare time, he enjoys working on cars. He appreciates the guidance of diesel instructor Ricky Smith and has learned a lot from the diesel courses.
Jonah Horton, son of Mark and Laura Horton of Wilkesboro graduated with his high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree from Wilkes Community College in spring 2019. Jonah was a homeschool student who began taking college courses through WCC’s Career and College Promise program. Horton plans to attend Appalachian State University and pursue a Business Administration degree. His favorite hobbies include playing the mandolin with his band “The Trailblazers” and playing disc golf at the local courses around Wilkes County. He is an active member at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. When asked about his time as a Career and College Promise student, Horton replied, “I have really enjoyed my two years as a student at Wilkes Community College. My instructors and the overall campus atmosphere have helped create a meaningful educational experience that I will never forget.” Horton has maintained a 4.0 GPA in all his WCC courses and received the Arts and Sciences Program Excellence Award.
Benjamin Bradburn, son of Marsha Bradburn of Hiddenite graduated with his high school diploma and an Associate in Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment. As a homeschool student, Bradburn and his parents wanted to plan ahead and look at options for college. They set up an appointment with Rick Smith, the director of the diesel program at WCC, and took a tour of the campus – specifically with an inside look at the Diesel Training shop and the associated labs. “We discussed my options and I was ready to begin. I was amazed by the realization that I could be finished with my college degree before it would normally be time to begin! Because of the skills acquired during my college training, I have been able to work part-time at Houser Farms, Inc. This operation is our family business, which involves running about 30 tractor-trailers, has given me much experience in my chosen field and has made me an asset in our family business. I look forward to working full-time at Houser Farms, Inc. once I graduate,” stated Benjamin.
Rachel Watkins, daughter of William and Lisa Watkins of North Wilkesboro, graduated in the spring of 2019 with both a high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree and received the Arts & Sciences Program Excellence Award. Rachel was a homeschool student who began taking courses at Wilkes Community College as a high school junior through the Career and College Promise program. Over the last two years, she has completed sixty-three credits that will transfer towards her four-year degree. Watkins plans to attend East Carolina University in the fall where she was accepted as a Chancellor’s Fellows in the Honors College. Chancellor’s Fellows receive a scholarship valued at the amount of in-state tuition for up to eight semesters, along with all of the benefits associated with participation in the Honors College. In addition, she was one of four alternates chosen for the Early Assurance Program in Medicine, which is a program offered jointly by the Honors College and the Brody School of Medicine for prospective medical school students. Outside of school, Rachel is involved in numerous extracurricular activities. She is an active member at Millers Creek Baptist Church (MCBC), and she plays volleyball and track and field for Millers Creek Christian School. Rachel also regularly assists with multiple volunteer ministries at MCBC, and she was an assistant Girls on the Run coach at Wilkesboro Elementary School during the fall 2018 season. Rachel appreciates the opportunities the Career and College Promise program has given her, and she is very thankful for the professors at Wilkes Community College who have helped her make the transition from high school to college.
Through Career and College Promise (CCP), qualified high school age students in North Carolina can take college courses tuition-free while they are high school juniors and seniors, allowing them to get a jumpstart on their workplace skills and college preparation. For more information about the Career and College Promise program, contact Jon Hutchins, Wilkes CCP Director for Public, Private, and home schools, 336-838-6484; Caroline Cope-Meyers, WCC Ashe Campus 336-903-3121; or Talina Pipes, WCC Alleghany Center, 336-903-3144.