Craven Community College (CCC) is a busy place to learn and work for students and staff. So, taking the time to also serve their community can take some doing. While there are more known and unknown acts of kindness and sentiments of gratitude, a few examples follow.
The year of giving started off with the annual national MLK Day of Service. Hundreds of college volunteers came out on a cold January day to Religious Community Services (RCS) and The Omega Center to clean and organize.
Accounting instructor Dan Best led faculty and student volunteers in assisting community members with electronic tax filing in February. In April, the SGA took the lead on a shoe donation drive in support of adults with disabilities in the U.S. and micropreneurs in Africa.
In August, the TRiO Leadership Club kicked off their annual donation drive that benefits Falcon Children’s Home & Family Services near Fayetteville, N.C.
For the college’s annual September 11 memorial event, CCC student ambassador Bradly Watkins put in many hours and feelings into artwork given to local emergency response organizations to honor their service and sacrifice.
CCC’s Alpha Phi Nu chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society has been collaborating with Mary Peterkin and the Greenwood Cemetery Committee this fall. Thus far, chapter members have matched 77 gravesites to help correct city and local mortuary records.
In October, biology instructor and Craven County Cleansweep committee member Cindy Seymour was joined by students Crystal Henderson, Melisa Bacott and Heather Carlsen in cleaning up roadside around the Clarks exit on I-70 highway. The Gaming Club held a pumpkin decorating contest to raise money for RCS.
Entering the season of giving, the Havelock campus just kicked off a food donation drive for Havelock-Cherry Point Ministerial Outreach.
There is a common theme among CCC students, staff and family when talking about what they are thankful for—education, family and friendship.
“I am thankful for Gus Guion. He volunteers to help promote the college’s STEP Program. He turned a personal tragedy into a call to action to help others not suffer the same fate. I also am thankful for our paid part-time staff member Angela Wilson. They work daily to make a difference in the STEP Program,” said Margaret Chance, manager in Workforce Development.
Nancy Childs, marketing design specialist, said she was thankful for her coworkers. Childs said, “Thank you all for supporting and encouraging me; for letting me talk and listening; and standing in silence when your presence is all I needed.”
“I’m thankful to live in a country that values education and is available to everyone, no matter their age, gender, race or national origin,” said Debi Miller, associate in arts student.
“I am thankful for friends, family, TRiO, and all the support at CCC,” said Olivia Register, associate in arts student.
“I am thankful for my family, both at home and at school,” said Tyler Toohey, associate in science student.
“I’m thankful for the opportunities we have to raise our voices and be heard. Freedom of Speech has been instrumental in getting the ball rolling for so many human-rights wins,” David Bucksot, associate in science student.
“This year brings special gratitude to my CCC family of Ambassador and SGA students that have taught me to appreciate, even, the trials in life… that they help make us stronger, to live each moment as if it were the last, stop and cherish each beautiful step along the way and that there’s hope in this future generation of leaders! A big thank you to this team for making my heart complete!” said Kimberley Clark, campus life coordinator.
Abby Fernandez, elementary education student, “Of course family and friends, but I am very thankful for all the opportunities that craven has offered me. I would not be where I am today if it was not for the amazing people at Craven and those that have helped fund my education.”
“I’m thankful for my loving and caring family and friends, as well as my Craven Family who have supported me through my college journey,” said DJ Johnson, associate in science student.
“I am thankful to have the opportunity to continue my education with the amazing people around me. I am also thankful for my family who stand behind me through everything!” said Alexandria Junak, accounting student.
“While time and money may be sparse, the ideas, projects and giving spirit is abundant at Craven CC. For that, I am thankful,” said Deborah Kania, CCC director of communications.
Student Jessica Owen said, “I’m thankful to have made it this far in my life and for the opportunities ahead of me. For the struggles and the fight it’s been and the strength I’ve gained because of them. And, also dogs.”
Bradly Watkins, aviation systems technologies student, said “I am thankful for the chance to do something with my life, with my wife and son at my side.”
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.