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April 28, 2014
HCC TRiO Student Support Services Program honors 12 with Beacon Award
WELDON, N.C. – The Halifax Community College (HCC) TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) Program staff held an annual awards banquet on April 24. The event highlighted student achievement. Students Gina Betchel-Hicks, Brandy Dickens, Ernest Medley and Carla Whitaker made remarks about the program.

"I feel this service is a way to help us change…a way to overcome obstacles," said Betchel-Hicks. "I needed somebody to go to, somebody to trust, somebody that I could talk to." What started out as Betchel-Hicks' need for the SSS laptop loan program turned into much more. "Little did I know that that one little thing could lead into so much encouragement."

"Student Support Services has given me moral support, guidance and encouragement. I appreciate being able to bring any issues, questions or concerns I have and receive positive feedback," commented Dickens. "At Student Support Services, you are not just a number, but family."

Whitaker, whose attention was also drawn to SSS by a flyer advertising the laptop loan program added, "The program was created to give students what they need." She knew she could benefit from the math tutoring that the program offers. Whitaker will graduate in May.

Medley arrived at HCC in August 2012 and had been out of school for some time. He had a lot of "phobias" to overcome, but with the help of SSS staff and tutors, was able to overcome the excuses. His goal is to become a nurse. "SSS has been there through thick and thin," he said.

Tutors, mentors, mentees and graduates were presented awards. Special recognition was given to Beacon Award recipients for 2014:
  • Demond Alston
  • James Boswell
  • David Bowser
  • Andrew High
  • Dwan Liggins
  • LaShonda Lopez
  • Lisa Lynch
  • Ernest Medley
  • John Mills
  • Loretta Parker
  • Lubelle Richardson
  • Melanie Williams
For 2012-13, the SSS Program at HCC served 260 students. It provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with college requirements and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education.

Services provided include tutorial services, personal counseling/mentoring, college transfer advising and college visitations, cultural enrichment, laptop loan program, academic advising and grant aid.

TRiO programs were initiated in the 1960s by President Lyndon Johnson to assist students in overcoming academic and financial barriers. The SSS program at HCC began in the mid 1970s. Since its inception, thousands of students have benefited from the services of SSS.

The goal of SSS is to improve academic performance, increase retention and graduation rates, and foster an environment that supports students. Visit the SSS webpage for more details.

Gina Betchel-Hicks Brandy Dickens
Gina Betchel-Hicks Brandy Dickens

Ernest Medley Carla Whitaker
Ernest Medley Carla Whitaker
Halifax Community College’s Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, mtemple295@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239