|Jamee Pelcher of Franklin is Southwestern Community College’s recipient of the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award.
nity College System’s Academic Excellence Award.
Eighteen months ago, Jamee Pelcher wasn’t looking to make a major change in her life. A single mother of two, she was running her own restaurant in Franklin.
But one morning in November of 2012, Pelcher woke up virtually unable to move. Her entire neck was herniated, pressing against her spinal cord. Even after surgery and a start down the road to recovery, it was clear she could no longer continue what she’d been doing.
“It was devastating,” Pelcher recalled recently. “I was very depressed. It all happened so fast. I was told it would take a year to get back to where I was before. After a few weeks, I looked at my kids and realized I couldn’t just lay there the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself. Someone told me this could be the best or the worst thing; that it was all in my perspective.”
Pelcher ultimately decided on the former option and has not looked back. She enrolled at Southwestern Community College and within a year became the school’s recipient of the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award.
She was one of more than 200 students honored during the Academic Awards Ceremony April 17 at SCC’s Jackson Campus. Each honoree earned a minimum of 30 semester hours credit within the past four years by the end of the fall semester, be enrolled in the spring semester and have a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.5 or above.
“Every single student who was honored at our Academic Awards Ceremony has an awesome story to tell,” said Dr. Thom Brooks, SCC’s vice president for instruction and student services. “We are so proud of what Jamee has accomplished. Like so many of our students, she has worked hard to put her life on a new pathway. She exemplifies so much of what Southwestern is about.”
Currently holding a 4.0 at SCC, Pelcher has been inducted into four honor societies: National Technical Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Beta Gamma and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is also a Who’s Who selection.
Her plans are to complete her college transfer degree from SCC before pursuing her bachelor’s degree in sports management at WCU. She eventually hopes to gain her master’s from Western and start a career working in the front office for a professional sports franchise – preferably in Florida.
“For me, SCC gave me an opportunity and the confidence to continue on,” Pelcher said. “It helped me realize I’m not too old and that it wasn’t too late. SCC is for traditional and non-traditional students. The faculty and staff, and everyone at the Macon Campus, made me believe in myself and helped me realize that even at 45, I have so much to offer.
“If I’d started out at a four-year school, I don’t know if I’d have had the same level of success,” she added.
For more information about SCC and its programs, visit southwesterncc.edu or call 828.339.4000.