WINTERVILLE—A new scholarship has been established with the Pitt Community College Foundation to help minority male students in need continue making progress toward completion of their educational goals.
Last month, a group of minority male employees at the college signed an agreement with the PCC Foundation to create the Minority Male Success Initiative Scholarship (MMSIS). The funding will be used to assist students with transportation, food or other needs that will help them successfully complete their courses.
A maximum of $1,000 ($500 for the fall and spring semesters) will be awarded annually through the scholarship. Currently enrolled minority male students with no disciplinary issues are eligible to apply for the awards, which are worth as much as $50 per student each semester and can be renewed.
“Retention is important,” said PCC Alumni and Development Services Director Ashley Smith. “If there is something students need to finish out a semester – maybe a bus pass, a meal or a book – funding through this scholarship could be used to fill the gap and get them to the finish line.”
Smith said the employees who initiated the scholarship saw a need and wanted to be part of the solution.
“They’re going to raise funds for this scholarship and are hoping others will see the importance of this initiative and elect to help out,” she said.
Jasmin Spain, PCC Director of Student Mentoring, Conduct and Academic Progression, played a key role in establishing MMSIS. He said the scholarships will allow the college to provide services beyond those currently offered through its Minority Male Success Initiative, which is a state-funded program aimed at strengthening minority male student outcomes.
“The brotherhood that helped make this scholarship a reality is dedicated to maximizing student success by establishing environments that strengthen the understanding of minority males and by identifying practices and policies that best contribute to their educational persistence,” Spain said.
Jennifer Congleton, chair of PCC Foundation Scholarship Committee, said she was “thrilled” employees had taken the lead in creating a scholarship for minority males and felt it would make a positive impact on their success at the college.
“I’m excited about the prospect of this initiative really going places,” Congleton said. “It could be a model for other North Carolina community colleges.”
To get MMSIS off the ground and running, the PCC Foundation has donated $2,000. Future funding will come through gifts from donors interested in minority male success.
Susan Nobles, PCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the PCC Foundation, said gifts to support MMSIS can be made at any time. Pitt employees wanting to help out can designate their Employee Annual Fund Drive contributions to the scholarship, she said.
Members of the community interested in contributing to MMSIS can contact the PCC Foundation at (252) 493-7287 for more information.