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Latest New Century Scholars inducted

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Nov 26 2019
More than a dozen students pose on a blue inflatable chair with SCC logos.
Jackson County students inducted into the New Century Scholars program on Nov. 18 included, bottom row, from left: Gentry Bumgarner, Jordan Bryson, William Weatherford, Jason Moody and Morgana McCollough. Seated atop the chair, from left: Bailey Bumgarner, Autumn Coggins, Chiara Salgado Rivera, Ava Krauss and Ethan Gilder. Standing at left is Tatum Griffin, and Elias Cruz-Ramirez is at right. Not pictured are Christian Alcantar, Melia Cherry and Madison Franks. The ceremony was held on SCC’s Jackson Campus in Sylva.

Most academic ceremonies at Southwestern Community College pay tribute to what current students have already accomplished in their pursuit of higher education.

The annual New Century Scholars induction instead celebrates the bright collegiate future awaiting several dozen area middle schoolers.

More than 40 seventh graders from Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties walked across the Myers Auditorium stage on Nov. 18 and received certificates signifying the promise of a tuition-free SCC education set to begin in the year 2025.

“Every one of these students has been hand-picked by middle-school teachers, and we could not be more excited to know they’ll be walking across this very same stage to receive their associate degrees eight years from now,” said Freya Kinner, New Century Scholars Coordinator.

Lena Wilson, a graduate of the program, served as the featured speaker and encouraged this year’s inductees to take full advantage of their opportunities.

More than 2,400 students have been inducted as New Century Scholars since it was established in 1995. The program provides resources and support to students as they navigate middle and high school – preparing them for a successful experience in college without worrying about the financial aspect.

New Century Scholars is supported entirely by private donations and provides last-dollar tuition assistance.

“At Southwestern, we are extremely proud to be a part of this wonderful program that has provided a brighter future to so many young people in our service area,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC President. “We are blessed to live in a region with so many generous individuals who make New Century Scholars possible year after year.”

More than a dozen students pose on a blue inflatable chair with SCC logos.
ABOVE: Macon County students inducted into the New Century Scholars program on Nov. 18 included, bottom row, from left: Skyler Taylor (kneeling), Abby Maney, Sheana Morgan, Emily Pazar, McKenna Plemmons, Molly Ramey and Helen Ward (kneeling). Top row, from left: Elisabeth Ramos Soriano (standing), Ophelia Contreras-Garcia, Joselyn Herrera-Hernandez, Emma Ledford, Lida Lopez, Yuritza Lopez Santos, Lathea Watts (seated atop right arm) and Jackie Ramos Soriano. The ceremony was held on SCC’s Jackson Campus in Sylva. BELOW: Swain County students inducted into the New Century Scholars program on Nov. 18 included, bottom row, from left: Ben Walls (kneeling), Nichole Green, Aaliyah Griffin, Addisyn Jenkins, Kiana Parton and Eugene Pyles. Top row, from left: Hadleigh Stiles (standing), Rocky Barker, Greyson Beck, Pippa Jo Bridges, Gunnar Floyd, Logan Green, Max Wilmot (seated atop right arm), Aiden Smith (standing) and Lorelei Wegner (standing). Not pictured is Nse Uffort. The ceremony was held on SCC’s Jackson Campus in Sylva.
More than a dozen students pose on a blue inflatable chair with white SCC logos.

In addition to working toward their high school diplomas, New Century Scholars are required to participate in community service activities that encourage leadership skills and explore potential future career options.

To support this program, donations may be made at SouthwesternCC.edu/Foundation or by check to New Century Scholars and sent to the SCC Foundation, 447 College Drive, Sylva, NC 28779.

For more information about New Century Scholars, contact Freya Kinner, SCC’s New Century Scholars coordinator at f_kinner[at]SouthwesternCC[dot]edu or 828.339.4477.