Last Updated on November 4, 2022 10:02 am
With dreams of careers in fields such as engineering, healthcare and education, a group of students began charting their course at the Foundation of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s annual Dream Award ceremony at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
The Dream Award, which ensures free tuition for local students to attend CCC&TI upon graduation from high school, was presented to 41 students from Caldwell and Watauga counties who were nominated and chosen while in sixth grade.
Participants must be future first-generation college students who have demonstrated academic achievement and civic involvement, and who have the potential to succeed. The program, which is funded through private donations to the Foundation, has presented awards to 1,405 students since its inception in 1989.
CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch opened the ceremony by welcoming the students, their families and guests.
“It’s a special night when we get to hear about the hopes and dreams of these students,” Poarch said. “Thanks to many of you in this room and so many others in our community, college is no longer a question mark for these students. You have paved the way for these young people to have guaranteed access to a college education. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Peg Broyhill, Chairwoman of the CCC&TI Foundation, congratulated the group and recognized her fellow Foundation Board members and CCC&TI administrators as well as various county school officials, local organizations, civic groups, churches and clubs whose contributions help make the program possible.
She gave special thanks for endowments and grants made possible by the Broyhill Family Foundation, the Coffey Foundation, the Granite Falls High School Class of 1963, the Hogan Family Foundation and the Rose and Dwight Church Family. She also recognized Dr. Tony Deal, retired Executive Vice President and Vice President of Student Services at CCC&TI, who introduced the idea of the Dream Award more than 30 years ago.
“Each of you has gone above and beyond in demonstrating good character, leadership and achievement,” Broyhill said to the students. “We look forward to seeing you shine and hearing about your many successes in the future.”
Dena Holman, Vice President of Student Services at CCC&TI, provided a history of the program and encouraged recipients to make the most of the opportunity. “Regardless of your goals, we’re here to support you along your journey to a college education,” she said.
Holman then introduced guest speakers Tatiana Fernandez, a 2008 Dream Award recipient at Gamewell Middle School and CCC&TI graduate, and Dr. Amanda Stroud, one of the first recipients of the Dream Award in 1989 while she was a student at Happy Valley School.
Fernandez has earned Business Administration and Accounting associate degrees at CCC&TI, as well as a Cosmetology diploma earlier this year. She owns two local businesses and attributes part of her success to receiving the Dream Award years ago. “It’s very important that you take advantage of this award and the opportunity to further your education,” she said.
Stroud is the Dental Director for AppHealthCare in Boone and serves as President of the NC Dental Society Foundation Board. She urged the group to imagine their journey to college and a career and likened the Dream Award to a boarding pass. “Whatever your trip looks like, whatever your journey looks like, realize that all of us in this room have things in common with you,” Stroud said. “All of us in this room are here to support you, encourage you and congratulate you.”
To conclude the ceremony, Dream recipients introduced themselves to the audience and shared their career goals, while Holman read comments from their Dream nominations completed by educators at their schools.
2022 Dream Award Recipients
Watauga County Students
- Justin Byers, Mabel School
- Maddison Canter, Blowing Rock School
- Copeland Dunaway, Blowing Rock School
- Carson Eggers, Mabel School
- Lily Faulkner, Cove Creek School
- Natalie Fox, Valle Crucis School
- Titus Hamby, Green Valley School
- Xitlali Luna, Hardin Park School
- Emma McKibbin, Parkway School
- Madison Millsaps, Bethel School
- Caden Ornduff, Cove Creek School
- William Phillips, Bethel School *Optimist Club of Boone Dream Award
- Rihanna Pope, Hardin Park School
- Amber Ramos, Valle Crucis School
- Lucas Ray, Green Valley School
- Daphne Strandquist, Valle Crucis School
- Clay Trivette, Parkway School
Caldwell County students
- Savannah Adkins, Happy Valley School
- Peyton Auton, Kings Creek School
- Braylon Baker, Gamewell Middle School
- Charlene Banegas, William Lenoir Middle School
- Yariah Bowen, Collettsville School
- Travis Buckner, William Lenoir Middle School
- Aden Chue, Hudson Middle School
- Declan Coffey, Collettsville School
- Austin Cooper, Granite Falls Middle School *Debbie Yount Dream Award Recipient
- Elaina Curnutte, Granite Falls Middle School
- Trinity Ellison, Collettsville School *Dr. Tony Deal Dream Award Recipient
- Chandler Foust, Kings Creek School
- Gracie Hall, William Lenoir Middle School
- Zoey Hall, Collettsville School
- Abigail Keller, Gamewell Middle School
- Dalton Martinez, Gamewell Middle School
- Braden Resor, Granite Falls Middle School
- Alexandra Reyes Montelongo, Hardin Park School
- Reagan Rotting, Kings Creek School
- Aaliyah Routh, Hudson Middle School
- Hailey Sawyer, Happy Valley School *Dwight and Rose Church Dream Award
- Makari Stewart, Happy Valley School
- Alaina Tavernia, Hudson Middle School
- Abigail Williams, Gamewell Middle School