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Student Support Services celebrated at HCC

Halifax Community College Student Support Services (SSS) BEACON Program staff held an awards banquet on April 28. The event highlighted program accomplishments. The Honorable Judge Brenda Branch, Chief District Court Judge for Halifax County, was the keynote speaker.


“You have taken the first step or two or three, but it is not going to be easy,” said Branch. “There are things you need to do…You are going to need to prepare yourself to be yourself.”

Branch encouraged students to pay attention to what they are doing in life and not to compare themselves with others. She noted that students need to try to be whatever they need to be in life and to avoid taking shortcuts that could lead them in the wrong direction. Branch also warned that students need to check their attitudes and to set priorities for themselves.


“You’re going to have to compete for jobs,” Branch added. She said that there are “no excuses” for students not to succeed. There are resources to help with any situation, she explained. Networking was another pointer that she shared with students. “Step up out of your comfort zone and be all you’re designed to be,” she stressed.


Branch also shared some tips about what successful people do including the need to reject rejection, to see that failure is an isolated incident, and to realize that success is a process and it takes time.


“Find your own self…Know what your passion is…Learn what you’re good at and stay focused,” added Branch. “Be successful. Be all you can be.”


The SSS Program at HCC serves more than 250 students. It provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic college requirements and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their post-secondary education.


Services provided include tutoring, personal counseling/mentoring, college transfer advising and college visitations, cultural enrichment, laptop loan program, video/book loan program, and grant aid.


TRIO programs have a history closely linked with the administrative programs begun in the 1960’s. They have sought to provide educational and economic opportunities to those unable to afford them. The Upward Bound program was the first of the programs introduced in response to the Johnson administration’s War on Poverty. Subsequent programs such as Talent Search and Student Support Services soon followed and were authorized through higher education amendments. The term “TRIO” was coined to refer to the three initial programs. HCC’s SSS program was among the first such programs established and has had continuous funding from the U.S. Department of Education since 1977.


Peer and professional tutors, faculty volunteer tutors, mentors and mentees were presented awards during the ceremony. Graduates were also recognized with a framed poem.

  Student Support Services celebrated at HCC  

The Honorable Judge Brenda Branch, above, was the keynote speaker at the Student Support Services Awards Banquet, April 28 on the HCC campus.