Education notes: Never give up, Clyburn tells Vorhees grads

Congressman Jim Clyburn addresses Voorhees University graduates on May 7, 2022.
Congressman Jim Clyburn addresses Voorhees University graduates on May 7, 2022.(Contributed)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:13 PM EDT
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DENMARK, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Ninety-six students became the first graduates of Voorhees University on Saturday during in-person commencement exercises on campus where South Carolina Congressman James E. Clyburn encouraged graduates to use good manners, practice the golden rule and never give up.

Approximately 1,000 people attended the ceremony.

Clyburn told graduates always to remember to say thank you and pardon me as a show of good manners. He also told them to respect the differences of others.

“Learn to respect the backgrounds and experiences of all people that you come in contact with because those backgrounds and experiences will make them different; will make them see the world differently,” he said. It doesn’t mean that they are wrong or you are wrong. It means simply that you are different. When we learn to respect our differences, we can grow together as one people.”

The final thought he left with the graduate was never give up.

“You must understand that when you attempt to do things, sometimes you will get it right the first time,” he said. “More often than not, it will take more than the first time to get it right. Keep trying until you get it right.

Clyburn mentioned that he ran for public office three times without winning. However, today, he is the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives and the majority whip. Serving in Congress since 1993, he represents the sixth congressional district of South Carolina.

Voorhees University President Ronnie Hopkins presented Clyburn with a Presidential Citation during commencement. He also presented a Presidential Service Recognition Citation posthumously to Dr. Emily England Clyburn, the congressman’s late wife.

Also Saturday, Voorhees President Ronnie Hopkins announced full scholarships to Denmark Technical College graduates. Twenty-eight students have received letters inviting them to earn a bachelor’s degree at Voorhees.

Voorhees University to open an emergency operations center and classroom

DENMARK, S.C. - Voorhees University will open an emergency operations center and classroom on May 15. The EOC will address campus and community emergencies and prepare students for careers in emergency management. The facility will be located in the Science, Technology, Health and Human Services building.

Voorhees will routinely use the center and classroom to teach students protocols for emergency management planning and managing emergency events. It will also serve as a command center for campus and community emergencies.

The EOC will provide an assembly point for campus leaders, security, logistics, planning, and communications as a campus command center. The planning and intelligence section of the center will develop and offer damage assessments for emergency events.

The center has received financial support of $3,000 from science faculty and the Southern Disaster Recovery Association. The university has submitted a $20,000 grant application to Duke Energy.

Santee Cooper, Denmark Tech team up on lineworker training

DENMARK, S.C. - Santee Cooper and Denmark Technical College collaborated on a new electrical lineworkers program at the historically Black two-year technical college located in Bamberg County.

Together, the organizations created the curriculum for the program and conferred on training, with Santee Cooper donating materials and building the training yard.

“We’re excited to be working with Santee Cooper to help change the trajectory of the industry and to provide more access to the citizens of rural South Carolina,” said Willie L. Todd Jr. college president and CEO.

“The new line technician training program at Denmark Technical College is an important step in bringing quality training, career awareness, and the potential for solid, stable careers to a diverse set of students,” said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter. “As an advocate for diversity, equality, and opportunity I believe this is a noteworthy achievement and should be celebrated.”

Santee Cooper provided advice on curriculum and power poles, distribution training lines, transformers, and a capacitor bank. Santee Cooper’s transmission line technicians built the training facility.

Graduating seniors get career jumpstart in McDuffie County

THOMSON, Ga. - Transitioning to a career can be a daunting task for high school seniors on the brink of graduation.

Through partnerships with local businesses, Thomson High School is working to make that change a smooth one for its seniors.

The Jumpstart Apprenticeship Program hosted a half-dozen local businesses so they could connect with more than 30 seniors who don’t yet have a clear career path after graduation. Business leaders could interview students who have been crafting résumés and reviewing their YouScience results—a career aptitude and interest assessment—as part of the curriculum throughout the year. The students may even be offered employment on the spot.

“We try to create a pipeline of workers,” said Ashley Morey, THS guidance counselor. “This kind of thing can change the economic trajectory of a community.”

In fact the program, part of the UGA Archway Partnership, is well on its way to making that change. The number of students interested in participating has more than doubled this year, due to its previous success.

Morey said the program is aiming to change the mindset of the student who may have the tendency to neglect classwork in favor of the money a part time job provides. That adjustment will benefit everyone in the long run.

“You can always work more hours, but that’s not a career,” she said. “We want every student to leave here with a plan for a career in place.”

Local principal honored with Jonathan D. Simpkins Humanitarian Leader Award

JOHNSTON, S.C. - On Saturday, the Jo-Nathan Foundation awarded Edgefield County School District Principal Debbie Courtney with the 2022 Jonathan D. Simpkins Humanitarian Leader Award.

The award presentation occurred as part of the non-profit agency’s annual “Music in the Vineyard” event.

Courtney, principal of Johnston-Edgefield-Trenton Middle School, was recognized for her 32 years of service as an educator in Edgefield County and for providing swimming lessons to thousands of families over the past four decades.

“The Humanitarian Leader award is bestowed to community members who exhibit an extraordinary commitment to improving the lives of youth in our community,” shared Terrence Cheatham, co-founder and chief financial officer of the foundation. “Mrs. Courtney embodies the spirit of this award. The compassion and leadership she continues to exhibit as an educator, swimming advocate, and community member are unmatched.”

Courtney’s professional roles have included special education teacher, math teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal and principal.

Augusta Tech Foundation trustee establishes scholarship endowment

Jimmie and Shelia Stuberfield
Jimmie and Shelia Stuberfield(Contributed)

AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Augusta Technical College Foundation is pleased to announce that Jimmie and Shelia Stuberfield have established a scholarship endowment for the Augusta Technical College School of Business with a $10,000 donation.

Shelia Stuberfield, a senior vice president of Retail Banking with Cadence Bank, currently serves as the Foundation Treasurer. Jimmie Stuberfield is recently retired from Savannah River Remediation.

“Jimmie and I both believe education is the foundation from which everyone grows and we are happy to partner with the School of Business to make that happen,” Shelia Stuberfield said. “Our intent is to contribute each year as a family and we welcome additional support from the community.”

Also in the news ...

AUGUSTA: Augusta University celebrated its third annual day of giving, Augusta Gives, on April 20 raising $1,491,913 from 426 donors during the crowdfunded, social media-driven campaign. The largest gift – $1 million – was pledged by Mason McKnight III and his wife, Lou. The gift will lead the support of creating a new baseball and softball facility on the Forest Hills Campus of Augusta University.

SWAINSBORO: East Georgia State College recently received a challenge gift to help raise funds for the EGSC Foundation. The anonymous donor has pledged to match gifts given to the foundation until June 30, up to a total of $25,000. This challenge doubles your gift by having the anonymous donor match your donation. This doubles the impact your gift has on the college and the students of the institution.

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