Thursday, September 29, 2016

Putting Students First

Roxanne Jones, Instructor, Child and Youth Studies
A couple of years ago, I was helping a student register for classes. When we were finished, I asked if she had any other questions or concerns that I could help her with. She hesitated for a moment and then told me that she didn't think she would be able to buy her books.

I asked if she was on financial aid and she said yes, but last term she could not buy books for two of the four courses she registered for. Although financial aid covered all of her tuition, it did not cover all of the books she needed for her classes. So she bought what she could out of pocket and borrowed books from other students whenever possible. She ended up failing two of her courses that semester.

I was shocked to hear this and wondered how does this happen?  I got her in touch with Financial Aid, who connected her with a counselor, and it looked like she was going to end up in the exact same situation, without money for books. Someone suggested I contacted TTC Foundation, which I did, and the next thing I know the student came by my office to let me know she had her books.

It turned out that she hadn’t filed her financial aid correctly and it was eventually straightened out. But in the meantime, the TTC Foundation was able to step in and provide funding so that she would be able to start her classes with all of her books. 

I started giving to the TTC Foundation in 2010, right after I started worling at TTC, as a way to honor my grandmother. Although she only had an 8th grade education, she and my grandfather were always reading. She had a deep effect on my love of learning and when I started college, she was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She inspired me to become an educator and I have been teaching for 25 years.

After my experience with that student, I knew that I needed to continue giving to the Foundation. I have always believed that, as educators, we need to put aside our own agendas and make sure that our students have the best possible learning experience. The programs of the Foundation are there to help students be successful, and by donating to the campus campaign, we are making a smart choice to put our students first. 

Roxanne Jones
Instructor, Child and Youth Studies
2016 Campus Campaign Captain

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Another Successful TTC Pro-Am

Great weather, a special golf course and superb food – all combined to make the 2nd Annual TTC Pro Am golf tournament a huge success.  Held at the Country Club of Charleston, the TTC Pro Am netted over $51,000 for the Trident Technical College Foundation. Sun Trust Private Wealth was the presenting sponsor.

“We are very grateful for all the members of the community who supported TTC students by playing or being a sponsor for the TTC Pro-Am," said event chair Skip Godow, who is a member of the TTC Foundation Board of Trustees. "We are lucky to have a passionate and dedicated committee who were committed to the success of the event."

The opportunity to hold the event at The Country Club of Charleston was also a key factor. According to Godow, “The Country Club only holds two tournaments a year for outside groups. Being able to hold the TTC Pro-Am at this wonderful place with it’s long history and tradition made our tournament especially attractive.”   

After a great barbecue lunch provided by Swig & Swine, each of the 24 foursomes was paired with a local PGWA professional and hit the links for 18 scenic holes. At the end of play, everyone returned to the clubhouse for the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s Distinguished Alumni Extravaganza after-party.

Money raised from the tournament will support student scholarships, the student emergency fund, faculty/staff development and other critical needs throughout the college.

See more photos from the tournament and the after-party.

Learn more about The TTC Pro-Am

2016 TTC Pro-Am Results

1st Place Gross: Bull's Bay
1st Place Net: Thomas & Hutton
2nd Place Gross: Homegrown Hospitality
2nd Place Net Team: Nexsen Pruet

3rd Place Net: Bonitz Flooring

4th Place Net: Godow

1st Place Gross (Pro): Greg Boyette
1st Place Net (Pro): Randy Glover

Better Luck Next Year: Raymond James

Closest to the Hole

#3: Arthur Swanson
#6: Brennan King
#11 (amateur): Bob Bishop
#11 (pro): Austin Cody
#17: Custis Byars

Longest Drive (Amateur): Jamie Yonce

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Trident Technical College Saved My Life

Going from a scared, troubled child to a goal-oriented, professional woman in just a few short years would never have been possible without Trident Technical College (TTC).
My happiest memory was when I was five and visited my very first film set in my hometown of Covington, Georgia. Seeing so many people and hearing them shout, “places, people!” made me realize this is exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. I set out to learn everything I could about the film industry by setting up mock sets, taking old cameras apart and destroying any electronic equipment I could get my hands on.
But my innocent, childhood dreams were quickly forgotten.
My mother began to struggle with drugs and alcohol, and I was often left to fend for myself with little food and no running water or electricity. When I was 15, I was alone in the house and heard the front door open. Two large men came bursting into my bedroom, brutally attacked and attempted to kidnap me. 
 They told me that my mother had sold me for drugs.
I somehow managed to get away and eventually went to live with my father in Charleston, South Carolina. When my dad asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I remembered my childhood dream of wanting to work in the film industry. I did some research and was thrilled to discover TTC offered such programs, was affordable and I could attend with my GED.  
It turned out that I was unable to receive financial aid because my mother was still my legal guardian and I had no idea where she was. I was working four jobs, trying to juggle my classes and trying to make sense of the nightmare of my past. I loved going to school and learning about the industry, but I struggled and, once again, lost sight of my dreams. I ended up doing the one thing I thought I would never do: I turned to drugs. 
Thankfully, my instructors at TTC did everything in their power to help me. They treated me like I was family and gave me the strength, encouragement and tools to achieve my goals. I received my degree in 2008 and today I am happily working at CNN as a Satellites and Transmissions Operator/Engineer. 
I know I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the positive experience I had at TTC and I am proud to be an alum!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TTC Future Alumni Essay Contest Winners

The Trident Technical College Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Fall Future Alumni Essay Contest, which was open to all current students. Students were asked to share what TTC has done to assist them with their goals; their plans immediately after TTC and what they will do to help the college and future students after leaving. More than 150 submissions were received and judged by a panel of volunteers. 

L-R: Steven Henneberry, Sonia Cline, Megan Olivia Hernandez,
Terry A. Beyer and Kalyn Judkins
Megan Olivia Hernandez, who won first place in the contest, received a check for $1,000 from the TTC Foundation. 

Megan, who is enrolled in the cosmetology program at TTC, wrote about the challenges of being a military wife: "I will not complain of the hardships because I truly see this life as a privilege. Nonetheless, it is all too common for a military wife to lose herself." 

Megan plans to help other military wives see the importance of finding their own identities and point them in the direction of TTC: "I consider myself an unofficial ambassador for Trident Tech in a community that often does not think about college as an option."

Runners up, who received $500 each, were Steven Henneberry, Sonia Cline, Terry Beyer and Kalyn Judkins

Essays were read and scored by at least 3 different judges, consisting of alumni, volunteers and friends of the college. Their scores were based on spelling, grammar, organization and how effectively they describe their college experience, plans for after graduation and how the intend to give back to the college and/or the community. 

"We want them to be able to draw a clear connection between their personal experience and giving to others, but do in an authentic, believable and passionate voice," says Steve Price, chair of the TTC Foundation Board Alumni Relations Committee.  "I believe our winners hit the mark and we are very proud of them." 

Congratulations to all winners! 

The next essay contest will be held during the month of October 2016.  

Future Alumni Essay Contest Winning Essay

By Megan Olivia Hernandez

The first time I walked onto campus at Trident Tech, I was trembling and had to give myself a pep talk before I even got out of my car. I had been in South Carolina for less than two months; I knew no one and absolutely nothing about starting cosmetology school. I walked into the registrar’s office, despite my trepidation, and I am so very glad that I did. I was greeted with attention and kindness from the second I walked in the door. The dean, herself, gave me a tour of the campus and introduced me to my future teachers. The dean, the assistant dean, and the registration staff kindly helped me through the registration process. They made me feel like attending college at TTC was an achievable feat, and I could see that I would have the support I needed. 

As a military wife, I take my duty to serve my country, through the support of my husband, a sailor in the United States Navy, very seriously.  It is an honor to play a small part in the service of my country through supporting my husband and the military community.  Being a military spouse is challenging, but I will not complain of the hardships because I truly see this life as a privilege. Nonetheless, it is all too common for a military wife to lose herself; it is very easy for a woman to fail to find her own identity. Trident Technical College has helped me find my own identity, express my creativity, and become trained in a skill that will allow me to further support my family. 

With the help of Trident Tech, I have been able to carve out who I want to be in my career and how I can achieve my goals. I cannot speak higher praises of the teachers I have encountered in the cosmetology program. They have, not only trained me in physical skills, but have also taught me how to treat all people with respect, kindness, and integrity. My teachers are experts in their field and are always willing to share that expertise with their students. They have pushed my creativity and my skills set without destroying my self confidence. The cosmetology teachers have made a huge impact on my life, and I am certain I would not be this close to graduating without their untiring help and affirmation. 

My goal for when I graduate is to "pay my dues" in a salon and continue to learn about the cosmetology industry, and one day, with hard work and determination, open my very own salon. I would love to somehow serve the military community through the tools and skills with which Trident Tech has equipped me. I cannot wait to join the workforce; I am confident with the education I have received at Trident Tech, I can begin to strike out on my path as a cosmetologist.  In the more distant future, I would love to teach cosmetology, so that I may impact the lives of others in a positive way, as I have experienced here. 

After graduation, I will continue to help other military wives see the importance of finding their own identities, and I will point them in the direction of Trident Tech. Even now, before I’ve graduated, I consider myself an unofficial ambassador for Trident Tech in a community that often does not think about college as an option. I have already sung Trident Tech’s praises on social media, and in person, to my fellow Navy wives, and will continue to do so.  I will help Trident Technical College and future students through sharing my wonderful experience and letting future students know there is always a way to achieve their goals with Trident Tech. After graduation, I will proudly display my Trident Technical College diploma in my station, and then hopefully, I will one day be able to hang it in my very own salon.  I am proud to be a future graduate of Trident Technical College; I sincerely hope that I can bring more Navy wives to join me in gaining their own identity through exploring all of the programs here at Trident Technical College!  

Future Alumni Essay Contest - Runner Up

The Creation of My Future
By Kalyn Judkins

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”  

-Malcolm Little

When a student in high school dreams about going to college, they think about going to big universities and having a dorm room and roommate. But that’s not always the plan, especially when major universities cost thousands upon thousands of dollars a year. Luckily, we have Trident Technical College here in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Although I am only just starting here, Trident Technical College has helped me in so many ways. Trident helps many students, including myself, by making college affordable. I can actually get the education I need for later in life at a cost my family can actually afford. Trident has also helped me by having experienced, passionate professors to teach us. Even though I have only had two classes so far, both of my professors were fantastic. I was extremely nervous about starting school again and they welcomed anyone and everyone to learn what they were truly passionate about. My English 101 teacher, Rachel Disney, was really amazing. I already planned on becoming an English teacher, but she really made me want to focus on that goal. She was very set on her goal of truly making us better citizens in our society. I really hope that one day I can be as great of a teacher as she is.

When I first came to Trident, I wasn’t quite sure what I planned on doing in the future; I had an idea, as I knew I had always wanted to teach, but I wasn’t quite sure what I really wanted to do. But once I actually started, and had a grasp on what I really liked learning, I finally realized what I wanted to do. Currently, I am working to get my Associates in the Arts from Trident. After I graduate from TTC, I plan to transfer to College of Charleston to major in Education and minor in English. I have always love teaching people and sharing my knowledge, and English comes very easily to me as I love grammar, reading, and even, ironically, essay writing. I know that Trident has many resources to help me reach my goals, and I can’t wait for the future.

Once I graduate from Trident Technical College, and finally become an Alumnus, the way I really plan to help is by getting people to actually attend TTC. Many people coming out of high school plan on going to major universities rather than community college and they just settle on paying for it by student loans. By persuading students to attend TTC, I would be saving them thousands of dollars and bring in future Alumnus for TTC. So far, I have really enjoyed attending Trident Technical College and I hope that other people will as well. 

All in all, Trident Technical College has really surpassed what I thought it was going to be like. There have been so many resources to help me reach my goal and so many influences to help me realize what that goal is. I really cannot wait for the future to start, and the first step is by being prepared for tomorrow. 

Future Alumni Essay Contest - Runner-Up

What Has Trident Tech Done For Me Lately?
By Sonia Cline

My daughter and I moved to Charleston in 2011, to become college roommates. She transferred to College of Charleston, and I began my studies at Trident Tech. It was slow going at first, working two jobs, over sixty hours each week, plus a full-time course load. Finally, in December, I felt confident resigning from my day job, and rounded out the fall and spring semesters with my required lab sciences. This fall, I finally enrolled in my first nursing courses, and I am so excited to continue this journey!

As a single mom, I feel like I have wasted twenty years, being too stubborn to accept welfare or child support. I look at my predominately twenty-something nursing classmates, and I envy them. I never miss an opportunity to tell them how blessed they are to have this opportunity, and how important it is to follow through NOW. When we are young, we ignore the adults who try to tell us not to squander our years. I hope they hear me. Their lives can be so different. Their paths can be so much easier. 

Trident has given me the opportunity to start over. When I was younger and overwhelmed with life, I neglected to properly withdrawal from my classes. Trident gave me the opportunity to re-set, re-do, re-take, and revive my academic career. Thanks to some of the wonderful instructors I have had the pleasure of learning under, I now have a nearly perfect GPA, heading into the nursing program, and that’s huge. With aspirations of attending a Nurse Anesthesia program, I certainly needed the excellent instruction and leadership that I found at Trident. The reputation of our nursing program extends even beyond Charleston.  I have already made friends within the program, and look forward to participating in Trident’s chapter of the Student Nurse Association, another Trident “group” whose reputation for excellence, academics and leaderships, precedes them. 

Next fall, I plan to pursue an LPN position at MUSC or Roper hospitals, moving directly into an RN position, as soon as I am licensed. As I mentioned, I suspect that the reputation of the Trident Nursing Department may open doors, and create opportunities, that may not otherwise be there. I have heard time after time that both employers, as well as graduate level nursing specialty programs, recognize Trident nurses to be among the best. They respect that if we have been academically successful here, we are fully prepared to enter into any position or program. 

I am not certain that teaching is in my future, I’m more of a doer, than a teacher. However, I would love to have the opportunity to serve as a preceptor for future Trident student nurses. Even earlier than college-level, I believe that high school students, especially young mothers, would do well to have a successful role model to guide them academically. I would love to someday be a liaison between Trident’s nursing program, and local high school students. They need to see circumstances that they can relate to. They need to hear your story, and know that “you get them”. Those conversations could make all the difference, and I would love to be that bridge.