CVCC student finds success

From GED to two-year degree, Ben Justice has moved steadily through his studies in applied technology at CVCC with the help of two different CVCC Foundation–Sabal Trail scholarships.

Ben, 21, is from Phenix City, Alabama. Having not earned his high school diploma, he decided he needed to do something with his time. Bored with sitting around home, Ben decided to look into getting his GED. An internet search would bring him to Chattahoochee Valley Community College and the Adult Education Department.

According to Demeka Daniels, Career Pathways Specialist at CVCC, “Ben began working on his GED in our adult education program and was doing well.” During the spring 2017 semester, he would enroll in the Technical Readiness + Academics=Career Knowledge (TRACK) program. CVCC’s TRACK program allows dual enrollment in GED prep classes and college coursework in welding, industrial maintenance, HVAC or Nursing Assistant.

Ms. Daniels explained that to enter the TRACK program, the student must be a current adult education student along with scores and other requirements showing the student is ready for college-level courses. Ben met the criteria and applied for the CVCC Foundation–Sabal Trail scholarship for Career Pathways. The scholarship provided $500 to use towards his first class, ADM 100–Industrial Safety, which he worked on while he also continued to work on his GED.

Ben successfully earned his GED on April 13, 2017. He was proud of his accomplishment but said, “I’m not done. I have to keep going.”

And he kept going. Ben earned an A in his very first college course, as well as OSHA and forklift certifications. He kept going beyond his spring semester and registered for his next course as a college student at CVCC.

During the summer, he completed ADM101–Precision Measurement with the assistance of the CVCC Foundation–Sabal Trail scholarship for Applied Technology. This second scholarship differs from the first because it is specifically for college students in the Applied Technology program. The funds he received paid for his course, books and equipment.

This fall, Ben continued that mantra of “keep going.” He is enrolled in WDT110–Industrial Blueprint Reading and WKO110–NCCER Core. For a second time, he earned the CVCC Foundation–Sabal Trail scholarship for Applied Technology.

Ben will keep going this spring. He just learned he was awarded the CVCC Foundation–Sabal Trail scholarship for Applied Technology for a third time. He intends to complete an Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology: Welding Option. After earning his degree, Ben plans to move to Missouri with a friend to start a new life as a welder.

Ben said, “I like working with my hands. I also enjoyed my class on safety measures and rules. I originally thought I might want to work in EMS, but TRACK helped me find welding and it’s a really good fit.”

The TRACK program not only provides a space for students to work on obtaining a GED and earning college credits, it also teaches career skills.

Ben said, “I have a job now. I’ve had it for seven weeks. I wasn’t employed before, but now I clean at Hooters. I’m working my way up to becoming a cook. Ms. Demeka helped me with job interviewing skills and the whole process.”

Ben’s story is but one of the success stories of TRACK, Applied Technology, and the CVCC Foundation–Sabal Trail scholarship. This year, nine scholarships were awarded to students in the TRACK program allowing them to work on earning GEDs and college credit, three scholarships were awarded to applied technology students to pursue welding or industrial maintenance courses, and three scholarships were awarded in public safety. That is a total of 15 scholarships valued at $7,500 from the CVCC Foundation – Sabal Trail scholarship fund.

For more information about the TRACK program, contact Demeka Daniels at 334.214.4810 or demeka.daniels@cv.edu. For more information about the CVCC Foundation- Sabal Trail scholarships or other CVCC Foundation scholarships, contact Karen Kelly at 334.291.4938 or karen.kelly@cv.edu.