Friday, January 12, 2018

I am the Future

Veronica Rohtert
Future Alumni Essay Contest

Trident Technical College best educates individuals by offering a warm atmosphere to develop their skills by a caring and knowledgeable staff of professionals.  The college offers every possible option to serve all individual needs in obtaining their educational dreams.

Trident Technical College's concern is to help you receive your education, improve yourself, educate yourself to be part of the community and help you to become the best you can be. The faculty will hold you accountable and guide you to success. TTC has a staff that is available to guide you across every hurdle and get you to the finish line.

The advantages of choosing Trident Technical College are affordability, a multitude of career programs, personal attention, evening and online classes.  TTC has it all from degrees to diplomas to certificates to continuing education.  It does not stop there. Trident Technical College will prepare you for transferring to a four year institution or to study abroad.  The possibilities are endless with Trident Technical College.

Trident Technical College is the stepping stone to the next phase in your life and your future.  TTC inspires critical thinking and communication skills which is absolutely necessary in everything you  do in your future endeavors.  The professors, teachers, administrators and staff - each person on the campus is truly prepared to help.  They listen, they have answers, and they have positive direction.

Trident Technical College accelerates the economy by graduating well-prepared students to enter their chosen career path.  These graduates will optimize the companies they enter and bring themselves and company success.  In return, graduates will add profit to the economy by their output in their profession.  This profit draws more capital investment to produce more.  Income is high, consumer demand is high and capital investment goes up, making a happy economy.

I personally will accelerate the economy by opening my new business in the local area, a three part cooperative, and by giving back to my community.  I will utilize all the knowledge I have learned at Trident Technical College and the local Center 4 Women, and put it to work in my business practice and community outreach.  I plan to have a beehive living structure with retail area with products of organic and climate friendly origin.  There will be a community section for holistic classes, spa services and conference areas with living walls: beehive living units built from organic materials and made for a healthy living lifestyle. The beehive will contain organic gardens to support the cafĂ©, which will serve organic fare and offer cooking classes. My beehive is a holistic teaching facility for organic living.  I will have a high-demand product which will bring high profit, which will bring more capital investors and expand into other states.  This environment will bring together our local artisans and holistic teachers who can offer a new way of interconnected living.

Trident Technical College inspires the future by constantly evolving, staying grounded in the student population, being immersed in the community and standing for equality.  Trident Technical College is an inspiration to the individuals who walk through these doors every day.  They feel passionately about education and have the opportunity to share that gift.  They work tirelessly to offer it to every individual who wants it.  They believe in you and the opportunity for you to grow and to succeed.

I will inspire future generations with my ideas which will benefit the environment and every person it touches.  I will move forward and create and inspire others just as my professors and teachers have done for me.

A Vision for the Future

Kellie Sturnam
2017 Future Alumni Essay Contest 

Making my decision to enroll at Trident Technical College was an easy one. As a mother of three children, who did not yet have any pre-requisites, I would be starting from square one. Trident has a reputation for catering to the adult student in that respect. What most people do not know is that TTC caters to all students in that respect. TTC has made higher education possible by establishing a framework around the everyday lives of everyday people. From recent graduates who are uncertain about their next steps, to recent grads who want the prestige of a 4-year school (without the 4-year price-tag). From stay-at-home-moms, to returning vets. You name it! There is not a single area that TTC has not covered. And if you think you can't pay for it, think again. If you think you're too old…also not true. I have sat in class between a high schooler and an 84-year old woman. Yes, I said 84. The best part about the departments that have been established here, is that I have yet to find a staff member that is not as dedicated to my success as I am! I will quote one of my previous instructors, "I can only measure my success as a teacher by the success of my students." But a person would not have to take my word for it, they could simply tour the school. I have found that after talking with staff, a good majority were actually TTC graduates! 

With that respect, everywhere I turn, I see Trident Technical College giving back to the community. Just a few weeks ago I had the great privilege to watch my own child receive his first Academic Letter Award. The TTC Foundation was a sponsor of that very prestigious award, as well as funding a scholarship to a very deserving high school senior that night. TTC is also involved in the community during numerous career fairs, and many internships are offered to students through Bosch and Boeing. Just this year the new Early College High School was started on the Palmer Campus to help students in the Charleston County School District begin working on their Associates degree while still staying in high school. 

It is these and the many other programs Trident is a part of that inspire future generations. I remember as a young girl attending my first Quest Competition, there was an excitement buzzing in the room, and so many young, bright, brilliant minds were under one roof.  I stopped to look around, and breathe it in for one moment before I went into my competition. I was chosen to represent Stratford High School in the first-year Health Occupations became a recognized program. Me. It was huge. I let myself be proud. My father had passed away a few years ago, and my mother did not attend my events. So, it was just me. And in that moment, I was proud of myself.  I remember the slide show at the awards. I remember the feeling of pride and accomplishment. I remember to this day feeling like I could do anything after I walked off that stage with my 1st Place medal in extemporaneous writing. I was off to change the world. I was going to the State Competition. I was a Junior in high school and the words that just flew off of my pencil about medicine were important enough that people in that college heard me. 

I used to wonder if those judges knew the impact they made on me that day. I had given up on myself, but not for long. It was that day, that medal, and their belief in what I could do that brought me back here to Trident Technical College to do what I know I was born for. I enrolled in the Nursing Program at the age of 34, and I did not hesitate to do so. People asked if I was scared, or why I was not scared. People told me how brave it was of me, and I could not understand why. I felt, and still feel like I have an army at my back! I feel like everyone here is cheering me on!  It is my intention to pass that passion on. I recently applied to become the BTN (Bridge to Nursing) Director for the Student Nurses Association. If elected, my position will allow me to outreach to prospective nursing students and walk them through what can be a very intimidating and sometimes overwhelming process. I will also have the opportunity to elect for new outreach programs for the SNA in the community. Trident has done so much for me in my short time here, and my short time left is flying by! I am to make it as fruitful as possible for as many students as I can while I am here, and look forward to returning the favor after I am gone. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Trident Technical College - What's in it for You?

Sherri Broyles
Future Alumni Essay Contest
2017 Runner-up

Have you ever heard the expression “It’s better to give than receive”? Well, at Trident Technical College you get to do both. Trident Tech has a vision of educating the individual, accelerating the economy and inspiring the future. The education - if you work hard, you will receive valuable training that will put you on the right track to a rewarding career. The acceleration – TTC graduates leave school with quality training that makes them ready to join the workforce. The inspiration – as a Trident Technical college alumni, you will be able to give back to others and your community. That is my goal and I am well on my way to achieving it thanks in large part to the program I am currently in at TTC.

Trident Technical College makes earning an associate degree achievable and affordable. Whether you are a traditional student taking classes on campus or a nontraditional student taking classes online, there are so many options now and more coming each year that it is easy to work and get your degree through Trident Technical College. The staff in all the departments are more than willing to help you achieve your goals. However, the biggest advantage Trident Technical College has over other schools is the lower cost of tuition. You can take your core courses through TTC and transfer to a four year college or you can get a specialized associates degree and start looking for work right after graduation. Either way you could save thousands of dollars by starting out at Trident Technical College.

Trident Technical College accelerates the economy by having programs that fulfill job market needs in our local economy. They work directly with large corporations like Robert Bosch Corporation and Boeing to provide training. TTC has programs in the medical field like nursing, radiology and medical coding. Jobs in these fields are in high demand. They also have a great computer science department which has a variety of tracks to choose from. Anyone one of these programs offer degrees that are needed to obtain positions in the Information Technology field. These are just a few of the many programs Trident Technical College has to offer.

Currently, I am pursuing a computer programming degree for several reasons. I am a nontraditional student, I already have a degree in accounting. I am hoping the knowledge I gain from here at Trident will help me with my current career. I can already see that as I gain more programming experience I will be able to write at least simple programs that will automate many of the things I do at my current position at a local CPA firm. Automation will help me provide support to my clients, many of which are small business owners here in the Charleston area. My ultimate goal though is to become a teacher. That’s the inspiration part for me. I want to share what I have learned through my years of work and life experience. I hope that one day I can show young people how important it is to work hard but also love what you do for a living. I want to help them find what they are good at and make that talent work for them. Children these days don’t know a life without computers and I know that the education I am getting at Trident Technical College is going to help me speak the same language as the young people I hope to mentor one day. You don’t just receive a degree from Trident Technical College, you also get the tools you need to give back to yourself, your family and your community.

It's Your Time

Rory Thomas

Future Alumni Essay Contest

2017 Runner-up

Are you insecure about going back to school to better your career choices and income earning potential? Not sure you want to commit right away to a four-year college? Not sure that you can afford it or even have the time to take classes? Then you are very much in the desperate position I was in, not very long ago. I have a mortgage to pay, mouths to feed, and more than one job to make that happen. I chose to attend Trident Technical College (TTC) because there is a campus close to home, and the courses are offered throughout the day and evening as well as online. This flexibility provided me with a class schedule that allowed me to “pay the bills” while improving the quality of my professional life. In addition, TTC paired me with an advisor to guide me into the right courses that ended up building my confidence and helping me to believe that I could thrive in college. And yes, even after many years out of high school I am an A student!

Because, TTC is focused on educating and preparing students for careers that are in demand, I know that my career path in Pharmacy will afford me a fulfilling lifelong livelihood. I am able to pursue this vocation in large part due to the affordability of TTC with lottery assistance, a scholarship, and being part of the work study program that TTC offers. As a scholarship recipient, I have been able to focus on my studies, and as a work-study student, I am able to work in a lab that provides me with insight into my chosen profession, time to study, access to incredibly dedicated instructors as well as help me to afford being in college. Another advantage of being a TTC student is the Student Ambassador program. I have been a student ambassador for one semester, but unfortunately, the time required is not something that I can afford. It is a worthwhile program and if I had more time, I would definitely take advantage of it. By taking advantage of all that TTC has to offer, the cost of enrollment has been less than half of what a regular four-year college would have cost!

TTC strives to be a partner in our community. It collaborates with other universities in the area and supplies a pipeline of educated adults to local businesses. Because of my achievements at TTC, I will transfer to the College of Pharmacy at the Medical University of South Carolina. With my PharmD degree, I will attain my personal goal to help others in our community and beyond.

My college career has provided many opportunities and tools that have helped me to discover more about what I am capable of, and about myself as a person. TTC has a great library with plenty of private space to study and do research. The internet access is incredibly dependable and easily accessible from my personal devices or from a TTC computer, and there are many places on the campus to relax in comfort and eat a meal while studying. I personally have used the top-notch fitness facility on the main campus many times during spaces between classes to stay in shape and avoid the pit-falls that inevitably come from long hours of sitting while studying.

I wish that I had this letter to read many years ago. If so, I would have enrolled a lot sooner! Did you answer yes to any of the questions at the start of this letter? Now it’s your time to discover your own path to a new or better professional career. Don’t let fear, insecurities or finances prevent you from reaching your potential.

A Letter to My Past Self

Kelsey Hearing

Future Alumni Essay Contest

2017 Runner-Up

Dear Past Me,

It might be crazy to think that you'll be graduating with an associate's degree this upcoming May. Even more crazy considering, you're only 17, still don't have a high school diploma, oh and you're graduating with your hardworking mom. Just 4 years ago you were sitting down with your guidance counselor and parents trying to decide if the early college program was right for you. “Am I ready to take college classes in high school?” “Do I really want to give up my summers to take courses?” “Will the classes even matter when I go to a four year school?” “Will colleges not want to accept me since most of my high school career is spent with a technical school?” You’re going to spend a lot of time wondering if you shouldn’t have done the program, if you should have just taken endless AP courses like everyone else. Stop stressing over it, okay? Taking dual credit classes from Trident Technical College was one of the smartest decisions you made in high school. Little did you know, the early college program with Trident Technical College has helped jump start your path towards our ultimate goal- saving lives and changing the world.

Don't worry- you still want to go to medical school and become a surgeon- all those years of shadowing and health sciences classes will not go to waste. Trident Technical College has helped build the foundation of your college education. You're going to start at a four year school, wherever it may be, as an academic junior. You'll have your Bachelor's degree at 20. You'll be an M.D. at 24. You're going to jump into the career you’ve have been dreaming of for oh-so-long much earlier than your peers. The tens of thousands of dollars that you've saved by attending TTC will go to bigger and better things (like the financial burden that is medical school). Not only that, but TTC gave you professors that cared and treated us like the diligent student we are and an inviting campus with so many opportunities for involvement.

Not only did you get to jump start college, but by choosing to do this program, you're more likely to get a decent job when you graduate. Sure it's just an Associate’s of Science- but when all the other 18 year olds just have a high school diploma- you’re going to shine.

You didn't exactly have the typical TTC experience. In fact, it wasn't until fall 2017 that you even attended classes on campus. Until then you took online courses or had a professor come to the high school. And let me warn you- main campus is a lot different than high school- but in the best ways possible. Aside from getting to sleep in while the rest of your peers are driving to school, the professors and resources, such as the math lab, are more accessible. You'll be the youngest student in class- which may seem weird- but you don't receive any less respect than the rest of the class. Oh and how could I forget the students. Your classmates are encouraging and helpful. Study groups and collaboration really show that teamwork makes the dream work. From faculty to fellow students, everyone on campus wants each other to succeed.

You're going to use that encouraging environment as fuel to drive you through graduation. And then when we we're out in the real world, I'm going to make sure that we spread encouragement and hope like a wildfire to everyone who will accept it.

So past self who is considering applying for the early college program- you made no mistake at all. TTC has given you so many opportunities and advantages that you are going to thrive.

Present Day and Future Kelsey

TTC: Changing Lives Through Education

Meagan Hayes

Future Alumni Essay Contest

2017 Runner-Up

I am a student at Trident Technical College. Such a meaningful sentence and a statement that I am exceedingly proud of. I had always dreamed of going back to school, getting a degree and making a positive impact on the world. However my life as a single parent, waitress and an addict four years into my recovery is already busy. I was overwhelmed by the idea of trying to find a way to pay for school, change my work schedule to attend classes, and jumping through hoops to get enrolled.

Thankfully, one day after a string of bad days at work, I made a decision that changed my life for the better. So I got off of work and google searched Trident Tech because I didn’t know how to get there. Turns out there are campuses all over and one, the Palmer Campus, was less than four miles away from my job! So I drove, took a deep breath and went inside with high hopes but low expectations because of my preconceived notions. I have never been more pleasantly surprised! A woman took me to her office on the spot and started telling me about some of the possibilities. Forty-five minutes later I walked out of her office, application complete, FAFSHA filled out, Pell Grant information, major and career path selected and walking on air.

Over the course of the next few days I brought in a couple of really simple documents, did my placement test and what seemed like instantly I was officially a college student at the age of thirty. I remember being blown away by how seamless, how painless the whole process was. I can’t believe I waited so long! By the time I had my class schedule the illusion of insurmountable obstacles was blown away. Trident Tech walked me straight through the process, financial aid covered my classes and books and there were so many classes available- daytime, nighttime and online- that I didn’t even have to change my work schedule! I snapped a selfie in the parking lot that first day, outside of the Palmer Campus, in my diner uniform, because I knew that it was a life changing day that I would want to remember forever. Because of the amazing staff at Trident Tech that genuinely care and want you to succeed I am three semesters into my college career and each semester, each class schedule, is as seamless and manageable as my very first experience.

I am a recovering addict and unfortunately in my wayward years I procured a criminal record which supersedes me anywhere I go; finding gainful employment as a convicted felon is difficult at best. That is a problem many addicts face. They may get to a point where they want to do the right thing and turn their life around but can’t find a job. As a result they return to criminal behavior, then eventually to jail which is a strain on the economy.

Trident Tech has given me the opportunity to get a degree in a career that allows for leeway concerning past transgressions. With this degree I will be able to go from a single parent on food stamps that works at Waffle House to a financially stable member of society that contributes to various resources instead of draining them. Then, as time progresses I will be able to put the knowledge I learned –be it in the streets, my experiences and my classes –to good use by passing that information on to anyone who reaches out to me for help. For each person that turns there life around there is a decrease in financial strain on the economy and an equally opposite little boost to the economy as these men and women go on to get jobs and buy furniture and clothes instead of alcohol and drugs. By giving me the opportunity to earn my degree in Human Services with a career path in addiction treatment Trident Tech is allowing me to maximize my impact on the economy. In return, I plan to empower others to do the same, be a contributor instead of a strain on our economy.

Taking classes here at Trident Tech has given me a huge sense of accomplishment and has already inspired multiple people that I know of. When I made the decision to come back to school, my best friend was inspired to do the same and is now working towards a degree in Early Childhood Development. A women that I know from meetings, in the halfway house where I lived years ago in my early days of recovery has reached out to me as well. She saw herself in me; a single mom with a very young child, winning the fight against her addiction and thriving. Now I have inspired her to start with her GED and not stop until she has met all her goals. The sky is the limit!

When I first walked into Trident Palmer Campus I was curious but nervous. The staff there inspired me to reach my potential despite any perceived obstacles. Now I’m only a few semesters in and already paying it forward by inspiring my friends and associates that it is never too late go back to school, get a degree and have a fulfilling career. Trident Tech has inspired me and keeps me inspired by assisting me in making my degree possible. I have already inspired others just by making an effort and beaming in pride at my accomplishments. When I graduate though the inspiration will really begin! Who can better inspire an addict struggling with the choice of life or death then a person who chose a better life? I am a person that was in the trenches of addiction and lost everything. I know how hopeless and impossible it can seem. Thankfully, I persevered and now I am living proof that a better life is possible through education.

How Trident Technical College is Helping Me Achieve My Childhood Dream

Addie Ledbetter

Future Alumni Essay Contest

2017 Winner

We all grow up saying we’re going to be a doctor, astronaut, dentist, or dancer, but how many of us actually get to where we want to be? Trident Technical College aims to educate the individual, accelerate the economy, and inspire the future. This is how Trident helped me educate, accelerate, and inspire.

Trident Technical College offers not only an affordable education, but it offers you the chance to hone in on what you want to do for the rest of your life. Every person you meet at the college wants you to do your best. Yes, the classes are important, but the relationships you build with your professors and peers are what make the experience worthwhile. Entering my first class at Trident, I was very nervous. However, it didn’t take long for me to get comfortable with my professor and my other classmates who shared similar interests with me. We talked about where we had gone in life and where we were going. That’s what was most important. We all had a commonality about us. We wanted to learn. Without this nurturing environment Trident had created, I’m not sure if my nerves would ever have let up.

Like many other people, I wanted to find the best and of course most affordable place to receive my education. I looked at countless other colleges and universities, but Trident just made the most sense. The class times were flexible, and I was able to live my own life all while earning my degree. Our society is very fast-paced, so the flexibility of Trident’s classes made it possible for me to earn my nursing degree while also working to pay for my school. Trident Technical College has three things that makes it stand out over other colleges; FLEXIBLE. AFFORDABLE. WORTHWHILE. I can’t express what a wonderful decision I made on where to pursue my higher education.

Trident doesn’t just produce college graduates. It produces change makers. It produces leaders in our community who are well-educated and skilled to take on the work force. Each day our economy requires more and more college graduates to do the jobs that our companies produce. Without Trident, those needs would not be met. Like I mentioned earlier, we all have a dream when we are young. Mine was to be a nurse. Mine still is to be a nurse. Because of Trident, I will be able to achieve that dream. I will enter the workforce as a compassionate, kind, hard-working nurse. I will help other sick employees return to the job of their dreams. Without Trident, I wouldn’t be able to give back to our communities.

Our college give us a chance. It gives us a chance to learn, grow, and inspire. By producing qualified college graduates, we are able to set the bar high for our next generation of students. They will see us in all our glory, and they too will be inspired to go to college and succeed. It’s been a long journey for many of us. For some, it has been harder than others. However, we are all here to get a better education for ourselves. I hope to inspire others around me that you too can achieve your childhood dream. Life may put it on hold, but you can and will get there. As a member of Trident Technical College’s Class of 2019 and a future registered nurse, I will commit myself to sharing my stories on how my education decision positively impacted my future.