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SKYCTC hosts college fair to reach out to community


SIMONE C. PAYNE spayne@bgdailynews.com

College administrator taking to young man and his mother
Photo by Bac Totrong/Daily News
Laverne Parrish (from left) and Caiden Kennedy, a sophmore
at South Warren High School, talk Sunday, February 28, 2016, with
Denna White, director of admissions at SKYCTC, during a college
information fair at State Street Baptist Church.

When Victoria Blewett decided to go back to school to get her degree, she knew that she couldn't afford to go to a four-year college while taking care of her three children. So she decided to further her schooling at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College.

SKYCTC hosted its fifth annual Super Sunday events at Trinity Full Gospel Baptist Church and State Street Baptist Church as part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System's statewide effort to encourage early planning for college and the involvement of community mentors for young people.

Blewett is currently attending the college earning her degree in office assistance technology. After she finishes, she's considering transferring to Western Kentucky University to get a degree in business administration.

"It was a whole lot of programs at SKYCTC that helped me along the way like the Ready to Work Program for single parents and things like that. It's a whole lot of good benefits to attend SKYCTC," Blewett said.

Representatives from the school participated in the churches' worship services and afterward provided lunch for the church members while sharing information on affordable alternatives for college.

"We're providing opportunities for an education for folks all throughout our community here," SKYCTC President and CEO Dr. Phillip Neal said. "We want to make sure that we're being as accessible as we possibly can to everybody regardless of their background, their gender, their race. We want to make sure we're opening our doors to everyone."

Trinity pastor Stacey Beason said the event is a great way to connect the school to the community because church is a good place to reach people.

For "people that are interested in trying to talk to SKYCTC, (the event is) a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and with them providing the lunch, people don't have to rush home. They can just stay right here, eat and actually talk to some of the representatives," Beason said.

The events are a great outreach for the school to make people aware of what is being offered at the college, said Shawn Stovall, SKYCTC director of student success and Trinity church member. He said it's important to provide the community with information about the school.

"Our hope is to partner with Trinity and do workshops with them to help students get better prepared. They don't know how to fill out a (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or how to fill out an application, the school or just a job application. (Trinity) has this computer lab available to have some instruction in here to really help them out," Stovall said.

Nyra Cullom previously attended WKU before dropping out to take care of her sick mother. Later, she decided to continue her schooling at SKYCTC and now has graduated from the college with two associate degrees.

"They really helped you financially for me to go and those classes there, it really does help the students," she said. "Everybody's comfortable, the teachers are there to help and the class environment, it is a mixed environment because there is traditional and nontraditional (students), but nobody looks at that."

Cullom said the biggest difference between attending WKU and SKYCTC was the class sizes, which played a big role for her while completing her degrees.

"I say it might be maybe 15 people (in a class at SKYCTC), but what I did learn from Western, I was just a number because there was so many in a class," she said. "I really didn't get all the information that I needed at the time."

Follow faith/general assignments reporter Simone C. Payne on Twitter at twitter.com/_SimonePayne or visit bgdailynews.com.