FTCC State of the College 2019 • Educational Journey

Here at Fayetteville Technical Community College,
we meet our student’s needs wherever they are in their education. We strive to help our community by training,
supporting and improving the quality of life for our neighbors. We are not a “one size fits all” institution. Our students come to us from all walks of
life and we can provide them with a variety of educational opportunities or specialized
industry training they need to help them in their life’s journey. We serve more than 35,000 students and provide
over 280 occupational, technical, general education, college transfer, and continuing
education programs with a keen eye on our community partners to provide them with the
trained workforce they need. After high school I enlisted in the United
States Coast Guard and patrolled the Pacific Ocean, including fishery and EPA enforcement
in the Bering Sea, as well as counter narcotic work off the coast of Mexico and South America. After my enlistment I spent nearly a decade
trying to find a career path in life. I worked a variety of jobs around the country. I found myself back home, here in Fayetteville,
working as a bartender. My time as a bartender gave me the opportunity
to meet interesting people with a variety of careers. Some of the most appealing careers required
higher education. That’s when I knew I had to go back to school. Fayetteville Tech, was an affordable option
with many classes available that would work around my schedule. I decided on the Criminal Justice Program. The more I learned from my instructors, the
more I wanted to continue my education all the way through law school. I now have three degrees, and the one from
Fayetteville Tech right is prominently displayed in my office. Without my start here, I would have never
reached the finish line. I am currently serving as an Assistant District
Attorney for the 15th District; I serve as a Teen Court Judge and mentor for both Cumberland
and Columbus Counties. I am also an adjunct instructor teaching online
for FTCC. Fayetteville Tech gave me the tools and knowledge
to jump-start my goals. I have and always will have a strong connection
with Fayetteville and surrounding communities. I truly believe that FTCC has strengthened
me individually and as a result, strengthened my community. I was a nurse for almost a decade and was
completely burned out and wanted a career change. Ultimately, I want to work for me, my dream
is to have my own trucking company. For me to achieve my dream, I had to learn
the trade in and out. I knew that just taking the test to get my
CDL wasn’t enough. I wanted to learn all that I could, so I took
the Commercial Driver’s License program at FTCC. I decided on Fayetteville Tech because it
was the only school that was knowledgeable enough to answer all my questions. They gave me a full understanding of what
I needed to do to complete the course. The reasonable cost and class size also helped
me make my decision. The staff and instructors are very helpful,
and I felt it was the best training I could get. I’m the type of person who gives my best
with everything I do, but there was a point where I wasn’t completely sure, and thought
about giving up. My instructors gave me so much motivation. Them not giving up on me made me learn to
never give up on myself. FTCC gave me the knowledge I needed to not
only get the job done, but also to excel! Fayetteville Tech has also given me a stronger
connection in many areas of my life. The instructors are amazing they led me in
the right direction whether it’s dealing with work, school or life in general. I’m beyond happy that I made the decision
to come to FTCC. Because of the school’s partnerships with
local businesses, they created a great opportunity for me. On October 6th, 2016, I had a terrible parachute
accident. I had a full malfunction in my main chute
and the reserve only worked for a couple of seconds which barely slowed my descent from
about 600ft. I hit the Sicily drop-zone with a 75-pound
rucksack and a rifle on my side. After countless surgeries to repair my leg
and multiple physical therapy sessions, I was able to overcome all the odds and push
myself in physical therapy. Once I was able to run, I wanted to play baseball
again. I was buying cleats for an upcoming adult
baseball game when one of the salesmen asked if I knew that FTCC just started a baseball
program and the coach was looking for players. Playing collegiate baseball has always been
a dream of mine. I attended the open tryouts and was fortunate
to earn a spot on the FTCC baseball team. I then enrolled at FTCC to get my associates
degree in marketing. You never really know how a seemingly small
encounter might change your life journey. Fayetteville Tech has given me a much stronger
connection to the community and I am working with the school to find a way to earn scholarship
money for the future athletes. I had a huge drug addiction most of my life. It took me to very dark places, including
being incarcerated. I had to work though some things, and part
of that process was thinking about what I could do to help take care of myself and to
start enjoying life. I made the decision to change. To get sober. That was 17years ago, and I have been sober
ever since. I knew getting an education was another part
in the process and FTCC was the answer. I received my high school diploma from Fayetteville
Tech. I was proud to achieve that goal, but I knew
a college degree would be the next step in insuring my future. From the very start of the application process
though testing, the staff welcomed and encouraged me. Once enrolled in classes, my instructors wanted
me to succeed as much as I did. Whether it was an assignment I was having
problems with or general life issues, my instructors wanted to help. I could tell they cared and that gave me the
motivation to move forward no matter what. My education at FTCC has been life changing. It has given me the confidence to complete
anything I set my mind to. I am proud of the work I have done. I can hold my head high knowing that I have
not only completed all that was required for my degree, but I also made the Dean’s list
and President’s list. I know that without the push that my instructors
gave me, I would not be where I am today. I feel like am a part my community in a positive
way. I can now enjoy time entertaining at home
with family and friends or go dirt track racing with my fiancé. I have a job I love, with benefits and a sense
of satisfaction I could not have gotten without the love and support from FTCC. I am mostly a native to North Carolina, having
spent the majority of my life growing up in north Raleigh and moving around the state
from the Mountains to the Piedmont and, now, the Sandhills. I grew up loving the outdoors, walking the
creeks behind my parents’ house and flipping rocks and logs in search of lizards, spiders,
and snakes. I became enthralled with entomology, then
herpetology, and later dendrology and botany, which all kind of tied together my understanding
of the natural world. In my spare time I enjoy nature photography,
canoeing, and fishing. In 2010 I graduated from North Carolina State
University with a major in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. In May of 2015 I was hired as a state park
ranger at Carvers Creek State Park. Once hired, I had one year to obtain my Basic
Law Enforcement Training, because Park Rangers are considered a special peace officer in
North Carolina. Although I could have pursued other options,
I chose FTCC because the Spring Lake campus was very close to the park, and two other
park rangers who attended BLET program several years ago HIGHLY recommended it. They told me that the course was going to
be tough but effective. I have worked at Carvers Creek for four years
now and love being outside, studying nature, and sharing my passion with park visitors. I still run into old colleagues and instructors
while on duty. I recently took an intern to visit the BLET
program and was amazed to see how the program has evolved to provide students with improved
real-life scenario training in new, redesigned facilities. Fayetteville Tech was there for me when I
needed to fill in the educational puzzle piece to have my dream job. The instructors are superb, professional,
and friendly. Having FTCC easily accessible allowed me to
advance in my career and feel like I was a part of the community. Education is an ongoing process in a life’s
journey. No matter where our students are in their
life, Fayetteville Technical Community College is the vital link to helping them achieve
their goals and use their skills and knowledge to benefit the entire community.

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