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February 28, 2016

Thank you to all the churches, colleges, volunteers and prospective students that made our 6th annual Super Sunday College Fair a success. Go You!

If you weren't able to make it to the event, you can always find more information about our colleges, campuses and programs at kctcs.edu. Also, make sure to check our KCTCS and individual college Facebook pages for pictures and videos of our events across the state, and updates about future Super Sunday events.

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February 28, 2016
See the Event Locations page for individual venue times.

What is Super Sunday?

Super Sunday is an annual student recruitment initiative specifically targeting African-American students and their families, with information and resources to support college admissions and enrollment. On Sunday, February 28, 2016, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), and each of its 16 colleges will partner with African-American and Latino churches throughout the state to host college information fairs for prospective college students and their families. The day will promote higher education to show students how they can achieve a college education. It will also highlight the role of parental involvement and early preparation in facilitating successful access to college for African- Americans and Latinos. It is part of the KCTCS Super Sunday statewide effort to encourage early planning for college and the involvement of community members as mentors for young people.

February 28, 2016
See the Event Locations page for individual venue times.

Each event will implement the following basic agenda:

Introduction by Pastor
Discuss value of education
Discuss partnership with KCTCS college
Introduce KCTCS college president
KCTCS College Presidential Invitation
Discuss virtues of early planning
Discuss importance of education
Extend invitation to college fair
Pastoral Recap
Support of Super Sunday goals
Invitation to college fair, with time/location details
Promote parental and community involvement in educational process
College Fair - Handled by KCTCS college and church staff
Meet with event attendees
Answer questions
Distribute information

What is Super Sunday?

Super Sunday is an annual student recruitment initiative specifically targeting African-American students and their families, with information and resources to support college admissions and enrollment. On Sunday, February 28, 2016, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s (KCTCS) 16 colleges and System Office will partner with African-American and Latino churches throughout the state to host college information fairs for prospective college students and their families. The day will promote higher education to show students how they can achieve a college education. It will also highlight the role of parental involvement and early preparation in facilitating successful access to college for African- Americans and Latinos. It is part of the KCTCS Super Sunday statewide effort to encourage early planning for college and the involvement of community members as mentors for young people.

What is going to happen at each church?

At each church there will be a worship service. Speakers from KCTCS will speak about the value of higher education, the importance of early planning and the involvement of community members as mentors for young people. After the worship service, representatives from each college will share information about the college planning process, admissions, degree programs, financial aid, scholarships and more.

Is there a charge to attend Super Sunday?

No, the event is free and open to the public.

What kind of college information will be shared?

KCTCS faculty and staff will be on-hand at each church to share information about college planning, financial aid, admissions requirements and college programs. Prospective students and their parents will also be able to connect with a college mentor who will serve as a college liaison to assist them with their long-term college planning needs.

Is Super Sunday open to everyone? Is there an age limit?

Each event is open to the public, and people of all ages are invited to attend. Research has shown students begin contemplating college as early as elementary school, so students from K-12, their parents and families are the key audience for Super Sunday.

Why is KCTCS conducting this event at churches?

Churches are a vital part of the African-American and Latino communities and we recognize the importance of meeting students where they work and live. Super Sunday will be held at churches throughout the state as a way to convene religious, community, civic, business and education leaders together to develop partnerships to educate youth, their parents and families about the value of a college degree to ensuring individual success.

What about other populations of color or other diverse groups?

Everyone is invited to this event. This is part of KCTCS’ mission to increase the educational opportunities for people of color. Super Sunday is an annual event. .

Where did this event originate?

The KCTCS Super Sunday event is modeled after a highly successful program developed at California State University (CSU). The CSU program is designed to connect with and inform African-American students and their families about what it takes to get into college.

Is this just about going to KCTCS or any college?

Super Sunday is an event that seeks to promote a college-going culture. People interested in attending any college are invited.

Why is KCTCS doing this event?

As an open-access institution, KCTCS is commited to increasing the educational attainment of diverse populations. Super Sunday is a KCTCS program to connect with and inform African-American and Latino students, and their families, about what it takes to get into college.

2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
48 churches, 552 prospective students, 2,684 participants, 393 volunteers, 275 media stories
52 churches, 1,284 prospective students, 601 volunteers, 253 media stories
41 churches, 11,900 participants, 850 prospective students, 450 volunteers, 337 media stories
34 churches, 8,600 participants, 500 prospective students, 500 volunteers, 485 media stories
31 churches, 3,000 participants, 240 prospective students, 330 volunteers, 359 media stories
2014
2013
2012
2011

2014

Press Conference

KCTCS Stresses "Yes You Can" at Super Sunday Events

KCTCS colleges and the System Office will sponsor or participate in various MLK celebrations this month. Coinciding with these events KCTCS will promote its annual Super Sunday initiative to be held statewide Sunday, February 23.

KCTCS and each of its 16 colleges will partner with African-American and Latino churches for Super Sunday events throughout the state to promote college planning and attendance.

Following the worship service, college representatives will host college fairs to provide information on admissions, degree programs, financial aid, transfer opportunities and more.

Additional Resources

Read the full press release

2013

Press Conference

"YES YOU CAN" Is the Message as KCTCS Kicks Off Super Sunday 2013

The echoes of a choir singing "Yes You Can" said it all at a Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Super Sunday press event today at the Capitol. Super Sunday is an annual student recruitment initiative specifically targeting African-American students and their families. On February 24, KCTCS and each of its 16 colleges will partner with African-American churches in their communities to host information fairs for prospective college students and their families.

Additional Resources

Read the full press release
Interviews available for viewing and download

2012

Press Conference

2011

Press Conference

Terri Giltner
System Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Phone: 859-256-3186
Natalie Gibson
System Director for Cultural Diversity
Phone: 859-256-3551
Heather Baber
Senior Public Relations Manager
Phone: 859-256-3216
Mary Hemlepp
Public Relations Manager
Phone: 859-256-3330
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Mayra Mendez
Mayra Mendez
Ashland
Mayra Mendez

Mayra Mendez

Ashland Community and Technical College

Mayra Mendez was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After completing high school, she visited Kentucky where she met her future husband, Richard Mendez. Mendez has lived in Kentucky for 12 years now. She has a stepson, a stepdaughter and a son.

After working in a plant for several years as a quality control technician, Mendez realized there was no room for growth. She began looking for other opportunities. That is when she decided to further her education. Mendez began her higher education career at Shawnee State. After only two semesters she and her family moved to Argillite, Ky. It was then that Mendez transferred to Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC). ACTC was not only close to home, but very welcoming and affordable.

"I immediately felt comfortable because everyone seemed so approachable, so helpful," said Mendez.

While at ACTC Mendez majored in business, eventually becoming a student worker. Mendez was later hired full time in the ACTC advising center, a place she remains today.

"I have loved every step of my journey here at ACTC."

Mendez graduated from ACTC in 2014 with an associate in arts degree. She is currently working toward her bachelor's degree in business administration at Morehead State University. Her long-term goal is to use her business skills working at a college or university.

Alexis Meza
Alexis Meza
Bluegrass
Alexis Meza

Alexis Meza

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Alexis Meza is currently the administrative manager of Lexington Community Radio. Meza is from Veracruz, Mexico but moved to the U.S. with her family when she was nine. In 2002 she and her family moved again, this time to Lancaster, Ky. From Dallas, Tx. Meza was an overachiever in school, adapting to her new schools and always excelling.

"Although my plans for college were very blurry while in high school, my dream to one day graduate from college were never erased."

Meza began taking classes at the Eastern Kentucky University/Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) Learning Center in Lancaster her senior year of high school. She graduated from BCTC in May 2012 with an associate in arts degree. In the fall of 2014 Meza became a BLINKS Scholar transfer student (with tuition and housing paid) to Kentucky State University (KSU) to obtain her bachelor's degree.

While at KSU, she set her goals to graduate with honors and to maintain a 4.0 GPA no matter what. She also made a goal to be as involved as possible and to enjoy her last two years of college. She declared her major as mass communications and journalism, and became very connected to the journalism department. She also worked with the campus newspaper and KSU Girls Rock. During her junior year, Meza was awarded the Moneta Sleet Jr. Journalism Award, and her senior year awarded the Departmental Honors Award for having the highest GPA in broadcasting. Her last semester she received the Presidential Scholarship.

Meza graduated from KSU in May 2015, Summa Cum Laude. She achieved her goal of maintaining a 4.0 GPA for all four semesters.

Meza recently received the Fire Starter Award for rising artists from the Kentucky Foundation of Women.

"I am very thankful for the help and support of BCTC, KSU and BLINKS. The relationships I formed through these institutions helped me to accomplish my dreams of obtaining a college degree. I am now working in my field doing what I really enjoy."

Martez Mackey
Martez Mackey
Big Sandy
Martez Mackey

Martez Mackey

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Martez Mackey, 23, graduated from BSCTC in 2014 with a diploma in construction carpenter and with certificates in the following areas: carpenter helper, construction forms helper, residential site layout assistant, residential roofer, residential carpenter basic carpenter and rough carpenter. During his time as BSCTC he was actively involved in the college's Multi-Cultural Student (MSO) organization.

"Attending Big Sandy made me realize I could dream big," said Mackey, who now lives in Louisville and works for Toyota. "Being the Super Sunday Hall of Fame recipient is an honor."

Mackey said life is about choices and the decision to attend BSCTC was "life-changing."

Tina Terry, director of cultural diversity at BSCTC, said Mackey demonstrated "a commitment to success" from the time he enrolled at BSCTC.

Super Sunday will be held at Church of God MPG of T in Pikeville on Sunday, February 28. Church Services will begin at noon and the Super Sunday event will start at 1:30 p.m.

James William Lewis, Jr.
James William Lewis, Jr.
Elizabethtown
James William Lewis, Jr.

James William Lewis, Jr.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

James Lewis, Jr. is forever grateful for the care and concern he found as a student at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC). He will always remember the sense of accomplishment and celebration of graduation day in 1995 when he earned his associate degree in general studies, specializing in plumbing technology.

Today Lewis is a successful businessman, owner of Aluminum Pipewrench Plumbing in Bardstown, who has earned a sterling reputation among his customers and peers in the plumbing and construction industries.

Honored as a distinguished alumni of ECTC in 2015, Lewis has achieved Master Plumber status, and shares his experience and expertise through service to ECTC's plumbing program advisory committee. He also serves as a member of the college's Business Champions committee.

Lewis serves as preacher's steward at St. John AME Zion Church in Bardstown, where he lives with his wife, Judy. They have three adult children.

Naseema Mohedin
Naseema Mohedin
Gateway
Naseema Mohedin

Naseema Mohedin

Gateway Community and Technical College

Naseema Mohedin, is presently working on her second degree at Gateway Community and Technical College. She will graduate with dual degrees in May 2016. Mohedin will have a degree in instructional design and learning and also visual communications-graphic design. Following graduation, Mohedin will pursue a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Mount Saint Joseph University. Mohedin currently works in the e-learning department part-time while balancing a full course load. She one day hopes to complete her doctorate in nursing.

Mohedin is an honors member of Phi Theta Kappa and the National Technical Honors Society. She has created a student group at GCTC called Creators Network. Group members create anything and everything such as ugly Christmas sweaters and fleece hats. Mohedin is also passionate about helping women and children pursue their dreams. She enjoys volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Dickie Hagans
Dickie Hagans
Hazard
Dickie Hagans

Dickie Hagans

Hazard Community and Technical College

When Dickie Hagans was growing up, a college education wasn’t discussed as an option. Her parents just figured she would get married or find a low-wage job. However, her future changed after she participated in a displaced homemaker program in which she enjoyed having her self-esteem built up, being told she could do anything and learning about career choices.

She credits that program for enabling her to graduate from Hazard Community and Technical College in May 2000 with a nursing degree. That education led to her employment at St. Joseph Hospital in the summer of 2000 where she worked as a staff nurse for three years, before being promoted to clinical manager.

Because of family responsibilities and changes at St. Joseph Hospital, Hagans returned to Hazard, where she has been working as a nurse manager for Hazard ARH since April 2014. She is so thankful for her education because her nursing career has led to a wonderful life for her and her family.

"I always wanted to be a nurse, even when I was a young child," said Hagans. "I fondly remember taking care of my grandparents."

Hagans encourages others to go back to continue their education.

"If you don't have a college degree, you are really going to struggle."

Keith Williams
Keith Williams
Henderson
Keith Williams

Keith Williams

Henderson Community College

A chance encounter in 1967 has enabled Keith Williams to follow his dream for more than 40 years. Williams was approached by a local newspaper publisher while taking photos for his high school newspaper, all with a borrowed camera. It was the start of his career at The Gleaner.

Williams had an eye for good photos. He once snapped a picture of a South Central Bell employee wearing earphones while checking an underground cable that passed through the gravesite of Revolutionary War soldier Thomas Smith in Audubon State Park. With Smith's monument in the background, it was an eye-catching scene, one that later appeared as a full-page shot on Life Magazine's "Miscellany" page in its June 6, 1969, issue. The tag-line was, "Can you read me?"

In the late 60's, Williams enrolled at Henderson Community College (HCC) while continuing to work at The Gleaner. After five years, Williams moved his family and became a member of the Louisville Courier-Journal photo staff in 1973. In 2007 he retired from The Courier-Journal after nearly 40 years of a sterling photojournalism career.

In 2012, Williams returned to HCC’s December commencement where he was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award. This husband, father, grandfather and minister says lots of people have helped him reach his goals.

"Many people have helped me along the way…from Seventh Street Baptist Church to Seventh Street Elementary School," said Williams.

Renee Fort
Renee Fort
Hopkinsville
Renee Fort

Renee Fort

Hopkinsville Community College

Renee Fort is a 1986 graduate of Christian County High School. She is a two-time graduate of Hopkinsville Community College (HCC). In 1989 Fort received her associate Degree in nursing, and later returned in 2014 to receive her associate degree in science, before transferring to Western Kentucky University (WKU). Fort is currently a student in WKU’s RN-BSN program. When she's not attending class, she serves as school nurse for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity at Fort Campbell High School.

Fort is an active member of Virginia Baptist Church and is the directress/musician for the youth and young adult choir. She's been married for 27 years and has two adult children, Raychel and Mitchell.

In her spare time Fort enjoys singing, gardening and shopping, as well as, spending time with her family and working with youth.

Robin Harrington
Robin Harrington
Jefferson
Robin Harrington

Robin Harrington

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Robin Harrington is an admissions counselor at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC). She has worked closely with high schools students, returning students and non-traditional students for the past five years at JCTC, providing college and career counseling. Harrington specializes in working with targeted populations that face barriers accessing higher education and educational resources. She also serves as the co-chair for the Achieving the Dream 2.0: "African American Student Success" workgroup.

Harrington is currently pursuing a master of science degree in social work. She has completed 12 graduate hours toward a Pan-African Studies graduate certificate at the University of Louisville and will graduate in May 2016. Harrington has a bachelor of arts in organizational leadership with concentrations in communication studies and women and gender studies from Northern Kentucky University and an associate of arts, behavioral and social sciences from JCTC.

For the past four years, Harrington has served as an executive board member and co-director with West Louisville Math and Science Project, Inc. She is also an executive board member for the Academy of Cultural & Historical Excellence, a non-profit community-based organization designed to address unmet educational needs of low-income youth and families. Volunteering, community outreach and social justice causes are very important to Harrington.

Harrington is a proud alumna of JCTC and often jokes, "I liked it here so much as a student, I wanted to come back and work!"

Vivian Snorton
Vivian Snorton
Madisonville
Vivian Snorton

Vivian Snorton

Madisonville Community College

Vivian Snorton is a native of Madisonville, Kentucky. She has served as case manager for Hopkins County Family Court since 2007, responsible for coordinating the Families in Tradition Divorce Education program.

In 2004 she suddenly found herself unemployed after 16 years in the workforce. Snorton seized opportunity to pursue her education and enrolled at Madisonville Community College (MCC). Being a non-traditional student she faced many challenges, but with the help and support of MCC faculty, staff and many others, she was able to obtain an associate in applied science degree in criminal justice.

During her time at MCC Snorton was active in the Multicultural Student Association and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She also served as a 2006 graduation usher. Vivian has fond memories of her years at MCC.

"Many times in life we must take that step out of our comfort zone in order to move forward in life."

Jayson Jefferson
Jayson Jefferson
Maysville
Jayson Jefferson

Jayson Jefferson

Maysville Community College

For Jayson Jefferson, growing up with sports meant everything. The structure and moral values he learned early on helped mold him into the man he is today. He grew up in Robertson and Bracken counties, graduating from Deming High School. Following graduation he enrolled at Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC), pursuing the IET program after a semester of robotics and automation. While attending classes at MCTC, Jefferson also worked full-time to support his family. He graduated in 2009 with an associate in applied science degree in industrial electronic engineering, along with many IET Certifications. Jefferson continued his education and went on to obtain his master's degree in HVAC.

"I was very fortunate to have some great teachers who truly believed in what I could do," said Jefferson.

After years of working for family in the heating and air conditioning field, Jefferson took a huge leap and opened his own business — HVAC Solutions Heating and Air Conditioning. Today, his business is one of the fastest growing businesses in the area.

Mary Durr
Mary Durr
Owensboro
Mary Durr

Mary Durr

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Mary Durr has been a welcoming presence at Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) for more than 20 years. She graduated from OCTC in 1994, starting as a non-traditional student with three daughters. Durr wanted to serve as an example for them, to prove that education and hard work truly pays. Since 1995, she has served the college as the switchboard operator, mailroom supervisor, and assisted with room set up for special events. Durr has her pulse on the campus, and serves as a liaison to community members using college facilities.

Durr brings ingenuity and compassion to her multifaceted position, striving to be a “buck stops here” person. She is a friendly face, warm voice, and an information hub that listens, directs and assists as needed. Durr is honored to be selected as a member of the Super Sunday Hall of Fame.

"I wouldn't be here without the help and support of family and friends. I believe learning is not limited to age. Learning is something we should all strive to do, in one manner or another, all of our lives."

Briana Allen
Briana Allen
Somerset
Briana Allen

Briana Allen

Somerset Community College

Briana Allen attended Monticello High School in Wayne County and graduated in 2008. In May, 2014, she graduated from the Somerset Community College (SCC) Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program and now works as a PTA at Saint Joseph East in Lexington, Ky.

While at SCC, Allen received the John T. Smith Scholarship, a scholarship named for Dr. John T. Smith, the first African American to receive a doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky and former president of Jefferson Community College. Allen also served the college as an SCC Student Ambassador for two years. She received awards through the American Physical Therapy Association and was a member of the Martial Arts Club and Physical Therapy Student Organization (PTSO) where she served as president. Allen was also part of the SCC Student Government Association and a volunteer for the Kentucky Special Olympics.

Allen is the daughter of Robert and Michelle Allen.

"My education at Somerset Community College provided me with a future," Allen said. "I was the first to graduate from college in my family. Somerset Community College is very dear to me and I'm thankful for all the people who were placed in my life to help with my education. SCC has such a welcoming atmosphere and the staff is always willing to assist students to help them succeed. I'll always recommend SCC."

Robert Milligan
Robert Milligan
Somerset
Robert Milligan

Robert Milligan

Somerset Community College

Robert Milligan was born in Dayton, Ohio but was raised in Somerset. He graduated from Somerset High School in 1965 and was inducted into the U.S. Army that same year. After a three year enlistment serving in Vietnam and Korea, Milligan returned to Somerset and enrolled at Somerset Community College (SCC). While at SCC Milligan was a member of the basketball team and track team. He graduated from SCC in 1970.

Milligan continued his education at the University of Kentucky where he received an athletic scholarship for track. In 1976, he became a Kentucky State Police officer and was assigned to Scott County. He attained the rank of Sergeant in the KSP, the first minority person to receive that rank, as well as the rank of lieutenant, captain and major. He also was the first African-American to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, from which he retired in 2003. Millgian and his wife reside in Georgetown. Hey have one son, Stephen and his wife Holly, and two granddaughters.

Milligan said his high school academic career was not very impressive and he was intimidated by the prospect of college. Because of SCC, he felt empowered and did reasonably well academically and athletically. Milligan remembers a quote from a Black Achievers student he read on a bulletin board at UK. "I want an education because it will take me away from now."

Milligan said, "That person had just reached back into the past and told my story."

Kala Galbreath
Kala Galbreath
Southcentral Kentucky
Kala Galbreath

Kala Galbreath

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Kala Galbreath graduated from Bowling Green Technical College, now known as Southcentral Community and Technical College, with an associate in applied science degree in office systems technology (OST). Galbreath is currently employed at Tapps Medical Clinic in Bowling Green, Ky.

"Attending Bowling Green Technical College was a life-changing experience," said Galbreath. "Choosing to attend a two-year college was the best decision I could have made. My instructors were very supportive and cared about my education just as much as I did. Their support and encouragement is what helped me succeed."

Galbreath's OST degree prepared her for the workforce. It also helped her earn a better income and provide for her family.

Paola Schwartz
Paola Schwartz
Southcentral Kentucky
Paola Schwartz

Paola Schwartz

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Paola Schwartz was born and raised in Mexico City, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from a private university. Soon after graduating, she married and moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Paola has three children, and it was the birth of her twin sons that sparked the change in her professional aspirations and desire to further her education. At the age of 2, both sons were diagnosed with Autism and Celiac Disease.

After the diagnosis of her sons, she began to research alternative medicine for children with Autism and Celiac Disease. That is when she learned about nutritional guidance and gluten free cooking. Thus began her journey as a culinary student. Even though cooking had never been of interest to Paola, she started cooking from scratch and discovered the world of culinary nutrition, changing the diet of her entire family. In 2011, when her children reached the age in which they could attend school full time, she decided to enroll in the Culinary Arts program at SKYCTC.

Paola rose to the challenge of being a wife, mother and student and graduated from SKYCTC in 2014 with her Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. Paola marks this achievement as a stepping stone in her journey to reach her ultimate goal, becoming certified as a personal chef through the American Culinary Federation.

"For me it is an honor today to be the one who represents the Hispanic community, because I believe we have so much to offer to this country that is now our home. We are intelligent, hard-working people, with strong values and a heart filled with solidarity and a joy for life. I believe every person in the Hispanic community has the desire in his heart to have a positive impact in their communities and to make sure that they are making this a better place, for generations to come."

Mitchell Earl Brown
Mitchell Earl Brown
Southeast
Mitchell Earl Brown

Mitchell Earl Brown

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Mitchell Earl Brown was born and raised in Harlan County, Ky. He is a graduate of Cumberland High School and attended Southeast Community College (now known as Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College) from 1970 to 1972, later transferring to the University of Kentucky.

Brown is a retired Kentucky State Police Officer. He resides in Richmond, Ky. with his wife.

Victor Escalante
Victor Escalante
West Kentucky
Victor Escalante

Victor Escalante

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Victor Escalante, 23, had no idea what he wanted to do after graduating from Mayfield High School in 2011. He first learned about WKCTC when UK College of Engineering at Paducah representatives visited the high school to discuss the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in mechanical or chemical engineering without leaving Paducah.

Escalante enrolled at West Kentucky in fall 2011, earned an associate in science degree and graduated from the engineering school with a degree in chemical engineering in May 2015.

"I was able to start and finish my education while staying close to home. That was amazing for me; this college was the stepping stone I needed to be where I am today."

Escalante interned with Apex Engineering in Calvert City while attending the engineering school, and was hired full-time as a safety engineer just one month after graduation.

"My mom always said, 'do your best; someone will take notice and something good will always come out of it.' For me, that something good was West Kentucky."

Brandi C. Lewis
Brandi C. Lewis
Maysville
Brandi C. Lewis

Brandi C. Lewis

Maysville Community and Technical College

For Brandi C. Lewis, Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) was the first step on a journey with STOBER Drives Inc. that led to a whole new career.

In 2009 she found herself unemployed with two young children to support. Not wanting to relocate, in late 2010 Lewis used resources from the BTADD office and obtained a temporary position with STOBER. The federal grant only lasted a few months so at the end of October Ms. Lewis once again found herself unemployed.

In February of 2011 STOBER reached out with a new opportunity. There was a customer service apprentice position open. This job did not deal with accounting, Lewis' previous work background, but with gearing, motors, drives, and drawings. The apprentice position had specific educational requirements and required a 30 hour workweek.

Lewis enrolled in MCTC in the fall of 2011. The industrial and electrical courses were very challenging for a non-traditional student that was very much out of her element. Within 18 months Lewis was able to complete the requirements not only to receive her degree, but also complete all of the STOBER Drives mandatory industrial courses with a 4.0 grade point average.

Today, Lewis works as the sales administrator for STOBER Drives, Inc. and is responsible for their salesforce.com CRM and the ongoing training and development of processes for the sales team. She credits her success to her faith and belief that you are never too old to learn something new.

Cecil Barnette
Cecil Barnette
West Kentucky
Cecil Barnette

Cecil Barnette

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Cecil Barnette is a graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School and a five-year veteran of the U.S. Army. He earned an associate in applied science degree in architectural drafting and design from West Kentucky Community and Technical College in 2006. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in construction engineering from Murray State University in 2011 and is currently pursuing a master's degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, one of only four online architectural programs in the country.

A husband and father of five, Cecil works for Ace Design Group in Murray as a design project manager and architectural engineer and hopes to start his own architectural business in the future.

"Education is the most important thing, whether it be vocational or traditional,"� said Barnette. "You can earn an associate degree at a community college and then realize "� that you can do it, then go on to the major universities. It's a great springboard into higher education. Just take a leap of faith!"�

Cynthia Curry
Cynthia Curry
Henderson
Cynthia Curry

Cynthia Curry

Henderson Community College

Cynthia Curry graduated from Henderson Community College (HCC) with an associate of applied science degree in human services and a bachelor's degree from Murray State University in human services. She also received a master's degree in human development and leadership from Murray State University.

Curry is currently enrolled at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio pursuing her doctoral degree in theology, which she will complete in December 2015. When she is not hard at work as a student, she can be found on the HCC campus as the Ready to Work/Work and Learn program coordinator.

Curry initially thought beginning a journey into higher education was impossible. Being a non-traditional student with children, Curry has gained an enormous amount of encouragement and support from her children, family members and coworkers at HCC.

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all you're getting get understanding,"� said Curry. Curry hopes all the people she comes in contact with will apply this principle to their lives as well.

Dimitri Bien Aime
Dimitri Bien Aime
Big Sandy
Dimitri Bien Aime

Dimitri Bien Aime

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Dimitri "Dino"� Bien-Aime's path to a college degree was as unique as his thick Haitian accent.

Bien-Aime, 27, who was born in Haiti and grew up in Florida, dreamed of attending college, but the financial burden on his family made the pursuit of a degree impossible in his home state.

That's when a chance encounter with a friend opened the doors of Job Corps, a government program that provides free education and training to help young adults learn the skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. Bien-Aime left Florida and enrolled at the Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center in Prestonsburg, Ky.

"Once I completed my requirements at the Job Corps, I was able to enroll in classes at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC),"� said Bien-Aime.

Bien-Aime quickly immersed himself into campus life.

"There was something about Dimitri,"� recalled Tina Terry, director of cultural diversity at BSCTC. "Everyone gravitated toward him, and I could see the leader in him early on."�

At BSCTC, Bien-Aime participated in the Multicultural Student Organization, where he was elected president. He also was a member of Phi-Theta Kappa; was selected as an All-USA and All-KCTCS academic team member; a recipient of the New Horizons student award by KCTCS; and was named to the congressional congress at Forward in the Fifth.

"These groups taught me the values of fraternity and the sense of charity through my participation in diverse activities which helped out different groups of people within the community,"� said Bien-Aime. "My involvement with the Multicultural Student Organization and Phi-Theta Kappa have allowed me to keep in touch with the people and to be aware of their needs in order to better serve them."�

He earned his associate in arts and associate in science degrees at BSCTC in 2014. He is currently attending Jackson State University where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in business administration and chemistry.

Jaime Trejo
Jaime Trejo
Gateway
Jaime Trejo

Jaime Trejo

Gateway Community and Technical College

Jaime Trejo is a 2014 graduate of Gateway Community and Technical College (GCTC). He has an associate degree in business administration.

During his time at GCTC he was involved as much as possible. Trejo was a member of organizations like the diversity team, Student Government Association, and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. His hard work and dedication during those years paid off. He was awarded the Student Government Association officer position for 2014, and also received the GAP Funding Memorial Scholarship.

After graduation Trejo didn't know where he was going to continue his education. Mr. Michael Lee at GCTC changed that.

Lee helped Trejo get a two-year transfer scholarship to Kentucky State University. Today, Trejo is a student at Kentucky State University (KSU), pursuing a bachelor degree in business administration and preparing to be a member of the KSU football team.

Trejo is also involved with the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship organization, a bible study group. They assist the community by doing community service projects.

Janice Hagans-Higgins
Janice Hagans-Higgins
Hazard
Janice Hagans-Higgins

Janice Hagans-Higgins

Hazard Community and Technical College

Janice Hagans-Higgins began working Coordinator of Mentoring and Outreach at Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) early this year. She graduated last December with a master's degree in education and counseling with an emphasis on mental health and human development from Lindsey Wilson College. Janice is very happy with the course of her life, but it hasn't always been that way. In 2000, after the tragic death of her husband, Janice Hagans-Higgins found herself a single mother of four young children. In order to make ends meet, Janice and her children moved in with her parents and survived on the money she received from social security. Janice knew she needed to provide for her family, so she took on the challenge of furthering her education.

"Education is the key to a better future,"� said Hagans-Higgins.

Prior to joining HCTC, she worked at a very rewarding job that was made possible because she followed her education dreams. She values the opportunity she had working at the Rising Center (formerly the Rape Crisis Center) as the community educator in Knott County.

In 2011, she graduated from HCTC with an associate degree. She then utilized the University Center of the Mountains to enroll at Lindsey Wilson College and obtained a bachelor's degree in human resources and counseling in 2012. She has the drive and determination to continue her education "� she plans to work toward a doctorate degree from University of the Cumberlands.

Kim Morrow
Kim Morrow
Madisonville
Kim Morrow

Kim Morrow

Madisonville Community College

Kim Morrow is a native of Madisonville and serves as the student affairs assistant in the Enrollment Center at Madisonville Community College (MCC). In addition, she is the 2014-2015 president of the MCC Lions Club and an alumnus of MCC.

Morrow left home at the tender age of 18 to attend an out-of-town college. Her motives and mindset were underprepared for what she was going to face and she soon realized she needed to return home. This decision landed her at MCC where she successfully finished an associate in applied science in business administration degree in May 2011. While attending MCC, she had the opportunity to serve in various leadership capacities and represent the college at community events. She is currently completing coursework for a bachelor's degree in business integrated studies from Murray State University and anticipates graduating in May 2015. She plans to pursue a master's degree program beginning in the fall 2015 semester.

Morrow surrendered her life to Jesus Christ at an early age at Wesley Chapel CME church and has devoted her services to being the director of children and youth, president of the usher board, and various other areas in the church.

She is the proud parent of two sons, Donae' Morrow, also an alumnus of MCC (August 2011) and a Western Kentucky University graduate (May 2014), and Cameron Tandy, a former MCC student who transferred to West Virginia University for the spring 2015 semester.

Morrow is thankful to MCC for the opportunity to further her education and to serve her community.

LaQuita Gaskins
LaQuita Gaskins
Elizabethtown
LaQuita Gaskins

LaQuita Gaskins

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

LaQuita Gaskins has committed her life to helping others. As a minister for more than 20 years, she teaches Master Life and coordinates ministries at St. Stephens Church in Hardin County. She is also a mental health counselor.

This former Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) student reaches out to provide basic needs to those who need it most. LaQuita and Lonnie Gaskins Sr., her husband of 20 years, are both military retirees who are devoted advocates for mentally challenged and homeless people. Active in the Shiloh City of Peace Foundation, they operate a homeless shelter in Vine Grove, the only such shelter in Hardin County. Their goal is to provide people a warm, safe place to stay as they work to improve their life circumstances. They also provide mental health counseling and consultation at Heritage Counseling and Consultation Center, which the couple part owns, in Elizabethtown with several remote locations throughout Hardin County.

LaQuita took classes at ECTC and subsequently earned bachelor of arts degrees from Liberty University in multidisciplinary studies with four cognates and Chelsea University for human resources. She also has a master's degree from Lindsey Wilson College in education with specialty in mental health counseling and a master's degree from Chelsea University in human resource management. LaQuita is working toward a doctorate degree in theology from Tripp Bible Institute.

LaQuita and her husband have four children and five grandchildren.

Le' Andrea Ashley
Le' Andrea Ashley
Owensboro
Le' Andrea Ashley

Le' Andrea Ashley

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Le' Andrea Ashley graduated from Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) with an associate degree in art in 2010. She went on to pursue her education with Western Kentucky University, graduating in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in science, with cum laude.

"When I think about OCTC, I am thankful I was able to indulge myself in an influential learning environment,"� said Ashley. "The initial impression I received from teachers and staff was, and is, desire and support. I worked one-on-one with supportive teachers and staff, obtained excellent student habits and endured until the end."�

With hard work and determination, Le' Andrea made it. And, so can you.

Liliana Gomez
Liliana Gomez
Bluegrass
Liliana Gomez

Liliana Gomez

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Liliana Gomez is currently employed at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) as the Latino recruitment specialist for their student outreach and transition office.

Gomez attended Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) after graduating from Lafayette High School. She later transferred to the University of Kentucky and attained a degree in marketing and finance. She is working on a master's degree in public administration at EKU.

Gomez has worked with the Latino community for several years in many forms. Participating in the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp has given her tools and experiences and have helped to shape who she is now. Gomez was one of fourteen initial students to attend the LLCEC when it was created in 2006. She still enjoys participating in the program today.

Mitchell Fort
Mitchell Fort
Hopkinsville
Mitchell Fort

Mitchell Fort

Hopkinsville Community College

Mitchell Fort is a 2012 graduate of Hopkinsville High School. Following graduation, he attended Hopkinsville Community College and received an associate degree in May 2014.

Today, Fort is a student a Murray State University, majoring in agriculture.

Fort's best advice for high school students is "be prepared for challenging course work."�

Fort looks forward to graduating with a bachelor's degree in the next couple of years and beginning a career in agriculture.

Phillip Duncan
Phillip Duncan
Somerset
Phillip Duncan

Phillip Duncan

Somerset Community College

When Phillip Duncan graduated from Monticello High School in 1986, he thought his educational journey was over. He didn't see himself as "college material,"� he said. Others, though, saw the potential in Duncan. A guidance counselor convinced him to look into what is now Somerset Community College (SCC). Duncan took the advice and majored in graphic communications and offset printing.

After working in printing for a few years, Duncan and his wife Nancy returned to their hometown of Monticello, Ky. to raise a family. At that time, Duncan decided to pursue an opportunity with East Kentucky Power Cooperative. He was hired as a janitor and general laborer at the Cooper Power Station. Through hard work and perseverance, Duncan worked his way up the career ladder to be named the Assistant Plant Manager in January 2014.

"My philosophy is I always do my best regardless of what I'm asked to do,"� said Duncan. "I want to set the example for others to follow. I also believe you have to set a goal to know where you're headed and those goals should be set high. Today's young people, specifically African-American youth, need to believe in themselves. They can, and should, get all the education they can. If I can come this far, they can too."�

Duncan and his wife have three children, Tyler, Tiara and Zac. He also serves as the associate minister at Pleasant View Baptist Church in Monticello, and has been on the Monticello City Council for six terms.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
System Office
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

System Office

Porter G. Peeples, Sr., is the chairman of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents. He is a graduate of the former Southeast Community College (now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College) and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor of arts in elementary and special education. For the past 42 years Mr. Peeples has served as the President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League.

Over the years, Peeples has helped others by raising money, finding people jobs and helping them with affordable housing. He still believes in the value of hard work and education he learned at an early age, and said preparing for success should always be a goal for students.

Peeples was appointed in August 2006 by then Gov. Ernie Fletcher to serve a six-year term on the KCTCS Board of Regents. In 2009, he was elected to serve a two-year term as KCTCS board secretary and as a board vice chair in 2010. His new chair position will expire in June 2013. He is the fifth person to serve in this role.

Raven Drake
Raven Drake
Elizabethtown
Raven Drake

Raven Drake

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Raven Drake enrolled in Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) in 2009, immediately following her graduation from Bardstown High School.

"ECTC was a good choice for me because it was close to home and I was able to get my basic classes done in an adequate amount of time,"� said Drake. "I really enjoyed my time at ECTC. I made a lot of new friends, had great teachers and got to experience a full campus life with clubs, sports and other activities."�

Raven completed her associate of arts and associate of applied science in human services degrees at ECTC. After graduation she enrolled at the regional Western Kentucky University campus in Elizabethtown (which is also on the ECTC campus), and then graduated in 2014 with her bachelor's degree in social work. She is now enrolled in the master's program for social work at the same regional WKU campus, where she will graduate in 2016.

She is currently employed at Communicare. After earning her master's degree she plans to continue working in the social work field with the developmentally disabled, hopefully helping them find jobs in the community.

Regina S. Edwards
Regina S. Edwards
Southeast
Regina S. Edwards

Regina S. Edwards

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Regina Edwards is a 1984 graduate of Cumberland High School and studied at Southeast Community College from 1984 to 1985. While there Edwards became Miss Southeast Community College, the first black student to attain the title.

Following Southeast, Edwards continued her studies at the University of Kentucky where she earned her bachelor's degree with honors in psychology and sociology in 1988. She went on to attend Vanderbilt University School of Law as a General Motors Scholar, earning her juris doctor in 1991. Following law school, Edwards held two judicial clerkships and worked in private practice before joining the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky. Today, she serves as the Chief of the Civil Division and has a number of collateral duties including chair of the office's diversity committee and working with the executive office of United States Attorneys as an EEO mediator.

Edwards is married to Blair Butler, an administrator with the Jefferson County Public School System and has three children ages 7 to 17, daughters Theo and Vivienne and son Davis. When she has free time, Edwards enjoys cooking (she earned an associate degree in culinary arts from Sullivan University). She also likes writing and is currently working on a series of short stories reflecting tall tales she heard during her childhood coal-rich mountains of Harlan County.

Ronald G. Parker
Ronald G. Parker
Ashland
Ronald G. Parker

Ronald G. Parker

Ashland Community and Technical College

Ronald Parker is originally from Greensboro, NC, but now calls Ashland home. After a few bad life decisions, Parker said he got his life together with the help of the Hope Center in Lexington. After meeting his wife Tracee, Parker moved to Ashland in 2005. He and Tracee have five children and six grandchildren.

Parker works at King's Daughters Medical Center in the Safety and Security Department assisting customers. Although he said he enjoys his job, getting a better job was always on his mind. He and some of his co-workers talked about college, and for a while, it was just talk. The day came when the talk ended and the dream of a higher education became real.

"After taking the placement test and enrolling in Ashland Community & Technical College, I was on my way,"� Parker said.

The staff throughout the college created an atmosphere that Parker was comfortable with, and he felt the instructors were there to help students achieve their goals.

"Upon graduation I was nominated student speaker for the class of 2012,"� Parker said. "Life is whatever you make it, and if you decide to do something with it you can. My experience at Ashland Community and Technical College will never be forgotten, and it has been a dream come true.

After completing his program at ACTC, Parker decided to take his education even further. He soon will earn a bachelor's degree from Northern Kentucky University.

Shelton T. McElroy
Shelton T. McElroy
Jefferson
Shelton T. McElroy

Shelton T. McElroy

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Shelton McElroy has a master's degree in education and human development from Lindsey Wilson College School of Professional Counseling.

McElroy currently works at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) as a career pathway manager, helping guide numerous students along their educational journey.

McElroy is the first male to graduate from Family Scholar House, an academic program supporting single parents obtaining a bachelor's degree. He is also a Kentucky Colonel, recipient of the KACRAO Plenary Speaker Award, has been honored by Congressman John Yarmuth, and is the founder of Fathers for Fathers, a grass roots organization advocating healthy fatherhood.

When McElroy is not assisting students at JCTC, he is working with parents as a parent advocate with the Department of Community Based Services.

Tiffany Littlepage
Tiffany Littlepage
Southcentral
Tiffany Littlepage

Tiffany Littlepage

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Tiffany Littlepage graduated with a degree in radiography from SKYCTC. When she decided to further her education, she knew Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) was where she needed to be.

"I wanted a degree in an allied health field,"� said Littlepage. "SKYCTC offered the radiography program and I knew that was what I wanted to do."�

Littlepage says KCTCS was very affordable and close to home, which made the decision to go back to college even easier. Today, Littlepage is a registered radiography technologist at Graves Gilbert Clinic in Glasgow, Ky.

"KCTCS prepared me for the job I always wanted,"� said Littlepage.

Yerald Hernandez
Yerald Hernandez
Southcentral
Yerald Hernandez

Yerald Hernandez

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Yerald Hernandez was born in Veracruz, Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of nine. Although he didn't know English, he was able to learn quickly.

In high school Hernandez was very active and won a one-year scholarship to Western Kentucky University (WKU). After his initial year, Hernandez had little money to pay for his tuition.

He ended up leaving WKU, and due to his status at the time, was unable to qualify for financial aid. Scholarships were also limited. Hernandez soon visited SKYCTC. Classes were affordable and the availability of what he needed worked with his busy schedule.

Hernandez graduated from SKYCTC in 2013 with an associate of science degree. He plans to continue his education in mechanical engineering at WKU. He currently works as an assistant manager at Sol Azteca Mexican restaurant in Russellville, Ky. He is also part owner at Sol Azteca Mexican restaurant in Smiths Grove, Ky.

Aretha Turnley
Aretha Turnley
Southcentral
Aretha Turnley

Aretha Turnley

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Aretha Turnley graduated from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (formerly Bowling Green Technical College) with a Diploma in Surgical Technology. For the past 27 years, she has been employed at the Medical Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ms. Turnley currently works in the obstetrics department as a surgical technician. Ms. Turnley encourages her sons, currently 22 and 17, to continue their education no matter what.

Her advice to young people today is to "continue your education, never give up on your dreams "� don't just settle for less."

LaAsia Couch
LaAsia Couch
Madisonville
LaAsia Couch

LaAsia Couch

Madisonville Community College

As the middle child, growing up I have always felt the need to go above and beyond the limits. While in high school at Madisonville North Hopkins I was a very active. I played basketball, softball, soccer, and I also ran track. My involvement in athletics helped develop me into a leader and sharpened my interpersonal skills. Upon graduation from Madisonville North Hopkins High School, I was awarded a full basketball scholarship to Rend Lake College in Ina, Illinois. Due to an unforeseen injury my athletic career was cut short, and for the first time ever, I was only a student.

I enrolled in the Madisonville Community College the following fall term. With no clue on what to do next I completely submerged myself in all the student activities I could. This was is when I first began to develop as a student, rather than "Asia the athlete". Doors began to open for me, as I soon became the Student Government President. While in this position I really developed a sense for helping others. Still undecided of my academic route I graduated with Associates in Arts and Science in 2009.

In 2010, I was granted the William C. Parker Scholarship for minorities at the University of Kentucky (UK). With a passion for health and fitness I was declared a Kinesiology major in the College of Education. With my knowledge as an undergraduate student I competed in three of the most profound fitness competitions (Kentucky Derby -1st, Kentucky State-overall winner, IFBB North Americans-10th of 825) in the country. Now a graduate from UK with a bachelors in Kinesiology, I am now working on a Master's Degree in Health Promotion. From here I will help develop and implement programs nationwide to educate children and adults on how to make better decisions and live healthier lifestyles. I aspire to become a house-hold name in the health and fitness industry. I am a life-long learner and I will receive a Ph.D. in the near future.

Bill Dixon
Bill Dixon
Henderson
Bill Dixon

Bill Dixon

Henderson Community College

Bill Dixon is a native of Henderson, Ky. Bill serves as the Director of Cultural Diversity at Henderson Community College (HCC), where he is also an alumnus. Bill also serves as the college's EEO officer.

Bill is a 1968 graduate of Henderson (City) High School. In the fall of 1968, Bill attended the University of Kentucky, where he quickly learned he was facing academic and social challenges. Determined to complete college, he enrolled at HCC in the fall of 1969, transferred to Indiana State University/Evansville, where he received a BS degree in sociology and psychology.

Bill's professional work experience has varied from professional sales representative to executive director of three different human service agencies. Bill feels his most important work is what he is doing now at HCC. This position allows him to give back to Henderson Community College, the students and community and create a greater awareness among the African American community about the importance of higher education and the quality/value of education at HCC.

Bill is a member of Greater Norris Chapel Baptist Church, where he serves on the deacon board and the last three years as chairman. Bill is married to Fathey Dixon and they have four adult children.

Carolyn M. Sundy
Carolyn M. Sundy
Southeast
Carolyn M. Sundy

Carolyn M. Sundy

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Carolyn M. Sundy is the vice president of Diversity/Inclusion & Special Programs at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

She is currently working on a doctorate from Mississippi State University and has a Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Kentucky as well as an Associate's Degree from Southeast

She holds the rank of full professor and serves as the advisor of the Black Student Union. She has served as director of the Upward Bound Program and Student Support Services Program at SKCTC. She has also served as vice-chairman of the faculty, is a member of the President's Leadership Team and various other committees.

She is currently a member of The KCTCS Diversity Peer Team and is president of the KABHE (Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education).

She has served as president of KAEOPP (KY Association of Equal Opportunity Program Personnel). She has been appointed by previous governors to the Kentucky Board for Proprietary Education, the African American Heritage Commission and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

She has served as a member of the Kentucky Humanities Council and is a member of the Eastern Kentucky Leadership Foundation and served as the body's chairman for the 2013 EKLF conference that was held in Middlesboro.

She is member of the Board of Trustee of ARH (Appalachian Regional Healthcare) and chairs the HR sub-committee. Additionally, she is a member of the University of Kentucky Appalachia Urban Committee, and is a member of the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce, EKSC-Lynch Chapter and the Lions Club.

A native of Lynch and the daughter of a coal miner, she is in demand as a presenter for local, state and national conferences on various topics of education and diversity.

Gwen Masterson
Gwen Masterson
Southeast
Gwen Masterson

Gwen Masterson

Ashland Community and Technical College

After having my family, I knew I would one day fulfill my dream of being a cosmetologist. I was employed for Kings Daughters Medical Center for 10 years before I was injured and unable to perform my job duties. After leaving the medical center, I decided to go back to school to fulfill my dream. Someone told me that ACTC had a wonderful cosmetology program, so I attended ACTC. While standing in line with the other students during registration, I was treated with the utmost respect. I graduated from ACTC with a 4.0 in two years and was in the National Honor Society. I went on to take my state boards and received my license as a licensed Apprentice Cosmetologist. This year, I will be seeking a degree as a Mastered Cosmetologist. I love ACTC and want to thank you for all that you have done for me and what you continue to do for others.

Israel Arellano
Israel Arellano
Southcentral
Israel Arellano

Israel Arellano

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Israel Arellano graduated from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (formerly Bowling Green Technical College) with a degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology. After graduation, Mr. Arellano entered into the apprenticeship program at AEP Industries where he began putting his classroom knowledge to work. In August of 2011, he began working at Sun Products Corporation first as an operator but now as an industrial maintenance mechanic.

His advice to young people today is, "Don't be scared to go to college "� it is a lot easier than you think, especially at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, where the small classes allow for more support."

Joe L. Cowan
Joe L. Cowan
Somerset
Joe L. Cowan

Joe L. Cowan

Somerset Community College

Joe L. Cowan is no ordinary individual. Born in Monticello, KY with a rare congenital disease called Authrogryposis, Cowan has achieved many milestones in his personal and professional life that he once thought impossible.

In 1971, Cowan moved to Lexington and spent almost four years at the Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Center.

"They (Cardinal Hill) provided me with physical therapy, an education, and they taught me how to survive on my own. They even taught me to drive a car," Cowan said. "Eventually, I was able to go out and get my own apartment, meet a girl, who was a student at UK, and get married."

While at Cardinal Hill, Cowan enrolled in the Kentucky Business School where he earned a certificate in accounting. Having difficulty getting hired in Lexington, he returned to Monticello and began attending Somerset Community College (SCC). He was awarded an associate degree in human services. That degree led him to a job at the Job Corps in Pine Knot, Ky.

Cowan eventually earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in social work, and he went on to earn a master's degree from UK in vocational rehabilitation counseling. During those years, he also became interested in entering the ministry. He was ordained an elder in the church and served in Monticello.

In 1997, Cowan began working for Somerset Community College in a grant-funded, job-training program known as BRITE; a position located in Albany. In 2008, Cowan was also given the responsibilities of the assistant director of disability services at SCC.

Cowan has served on a number of statewide boards and advocacy groups for the disabled. He served on the Kentucky Protection and Advocacy Commission, an independent state agency, for eight years. Recently, Cowan was appointed to another three year term on the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, a group of citizens appointed by the governor to serve as a leading catalyst for systems change for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.

In 2011, Cowan was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in Louisville, Ky. Nominees for this award have made significant contributions to Kentucky's progress in the areas of civil and human rights.

Cowan is currently the Assistant Director of Disability Services and an instructor in the Bringing Educational Achievement to Migrants program (BEAM) at Somerset Community College. Although his life has been a struggle at times, Cowan has never given up and has encouraged others to do the same.

Judy Cloyd
Judy Cloyd
Maysville
Judy Cloyd

Judy Cloyd

Maysville Community and Technical College

Judy Cloyd and her husband Britton Cloyd have lived in Maysville for the past 20 years.

Judy has worked as an In-Home Specialist for the Licking Valley Community Action Program for nearly six years. This position allows her to assist families in enhancing skills, behavioral and cognitive changes, setting and achieve goals leading to family self-sufficient and initiating or maintaining changes that help families meet their daily needs.

Before her career in human services, she attended cosmetology school, and earned a degree in cosmetology. She has worked as a stylist for 15 years and is still sole proprietor at her salon, Mirror Image.

In the community, she is better known as Teka. She received her Associate of Arts Degree from Maysville Community and Technical College and received her Bachelor's Degree in Human Services and a Master's Degree in Counseling and Education from Lindsey Wilson College. In addition, she holds licensure as a Professional Counselor Associate. She is also pursuing additional licensure in the field of applied behavior analysis through the University of Cincinnati.

Karen Johnson Ellis
Karen Johnson Ellis
Owensboro
Karen Johnson Ellis

Karen Johnson Ellis

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Karen Johnson Ellis formerly of Lewisport, Kentucky is the eighth child of Mabel Mundy Johnson and the late Edward Johnson and is mother to Jasmine Ellis. Karen graduated from Hancock County High School in 1984, after which she immediately enrolled at Mr. Jim's Beauty College and became a licensed cosmetologist. After becoming a divorced single parent and working in pre-schools, she decided to return to college and pursue a teaching degree. This decision led her to OCTC. Karen's time at OCTC allowed her to meet new people, and gain additional work experience. Work-study assignments included switchboard and information, and being a leader for the America Reads program. Karen states "OCTC was a perfect fit for me! The professors were great, I learned a lot and I really appreciated how they understood the life of a single parent, which sometimes required a little flexibility, due to my other responsibilities". OCTC provided a great start for Karen's success. After completing her requirements at OCTC, Karen continued her education at Kentucky Wesleyan College and in 2001 she earned a Bachelor's of Science in Communications. Karen currently works with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service as an Extension Agent for 4-H/youth Development, a position she has held for 8 years. Karen loves education and the foundation it provides for her, she said "I am still educating youth. College has allowed me the opportunity to pursue my career in education, in a non-traditional way".

Michelle Huddleston
Michelle Huddleston
Hopkinsville
Michelle Huddleston

Michelle Huddleston

Hopkinsville Community College

Michelle Huddleston is a Hopkinsville, Kentucky native and a proud Hopkinsville High School graduate. Upon graduating high school, I was certain that I knew what I wanted to do. Like many high school students, I left home at the tender age of 18 to attend college out of town. My motives and mindset were not prepared for what I was going to face. After 2-1/2 years at WKU, I realized that I needed to come home. This decision landed me at Hopkinsville Community College where I had the ability to finish an Associate in Applied Science- Human Services degree in just a year and a half. While attending HCC, I had the opportunity to serve in various leadership capacities, and represent the college at community events. Since graduating from HCC, I Have earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Walden University.

Now, at the age of 29, my life has taken even a bigger turn for the best. I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and I have truly embraced my purpose in this world. I have one book currently in print and believe and receive that there are many more to come.

Currently, I serve as the Director of Children's Ministry at Bridge of Hope Fellowship in Hopkinsville.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
System Office
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

System Office

Porter G. Peeples, Sr., is the chairman of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents. He is a graduate of the former Southeast Community College (now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College) and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor of arts in elementary and special education. For the past 42 years Mr. Peeples has served as the President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League.

Over the years, Peeples has helped others by raising money, finding people jobs and helping them with affordable housing. He still believes in the value of hard work and education he learned at an early age, and said preparing for success should always be a goal for students.

Peeples was appointed in August 2006 by then Gov. Ernie Fletcher to serve a six-year term on the KCTCS Board of Regents. In 2009, he was elected to serve a two-year term as KCTCS board secretary and as a board vice chair in 2010. His new chair position will expire in June 2013. He is the fifth person to serve in this role.

Georgetta Riley-Richardson and Dr. Georgenna Riley
Georgetta Riley-Richardson and Dr. Georgenna Riley
System Office
Georgetta Riley-Richardson and Dr. Georgenna Riley

Georgetta Riley-Richardson and Dr. Georgenna Riley

System Office

Twins, Georgetta Riley-Richardson and Dr. Georgenna Riley, were born in Harlan, Kentucky, the fifth and sixth of 11 siblings, to mother Geneva Jennings and Stepfather William J. Jennings.

While attending Harlan High School, Georgetta Riley-Richardson completed 12 hours of college credit at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College (SKCTC). She was also a member of the college's Upward Bound Program and spent several summers attending educational and cultural enrichment programs at SKCTC. In 1976, Georgetta earned a bachelor's degree from EKU and went on to complete graduate studies at UofL and KSU. After graduation, she worked as a Correctional Officer and as a Probation Officer in uisville before beginning employment at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Depart- ment of Justice in Lexington, where she remained for 28 years until retiring in 2006. During her career, she received numerous promotions, awards and recognitions, and has served as a volunteer job recruiter, president of the Employees Club, United Way Fund-raiser, NABCJ Adopt a School Program, union official and diversity manager andprogram coordinator.

Dr. Georgenna Riley Georgenna Riley completed nine hours of college credit at SKCTC and "� like her sister "� was a member of Upward Bound, and attended summer programs at SKCTC. Georgenna earned a B.S. and a D.M.D. degrees from UK. After a year-long fellowship at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., Dr. Riley established a 10-year private practice in dentistry in Hyattsville, MD, while teaching at several colleges and universities in the D.Cc area. In 1995, Dr. Riley received a second medical degree from Ohio University, where she received an award for raising awareness of multicultural and economic differences in the treatment of patients. A one-year internship in Pennsylvania was followed by a radiology residency in Morgantown, W. Va. and Dayton. She began her employment at Kaiser Permanente in Cleveland in 2001, and six years later was appointed Medical Director of Radiology for the Ohio region. Dr. Riley also serves on the board of directors at the Ohio U. College of Osteopathic Medicine and has endowed a scholarship at the school for minority students pursuing medical degrees. She's been recognized and awarded numer-ous awards for her work with Ohio University and the community, including the 2011 Alumnae of the Year at Ohio U.

Risa K. Richardson
Risa K. Richardson
Elizabethtown
Risa K. Richardson

Risa K. Richardson

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Risa K. Richardson started what would become a family legacy when she graduated from Elizabethtown Community College, now Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, in 1992 with an Associate's in Arts degree. Since then -- at the insistence of her parents, Joyce and Jerome Beasley -- nine of her 10 siblings attended or graduated from the college and then went on to earn bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees at other state universities. Her youngest sibling, still in high school, is expected to enroll at ECTC in 2015.

Risa continued her education at Western Kentucky University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism. Risa worked as a journalist and editor for nearly 20 years, and now is the volunteer coordinator at Lexington Habitat for Humanity and also works as a freelance writer and blogger.

She is married to Michael Richardson, a student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, and has two children - Michaela, 5, and Benjamin, 2.

Stephanie Savanna Kent
Stephanie Savanna Kent
Big Sandy
Stephanie Savanna Kent

Stephanie Savanna Kent

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Stephanie Savanna Kent or "Savi" as she prefers to be called attended Pikeville High School and graduated with the Class of 2007. She was your typical high school student with a passion for reading and singing. When the time came to choose a career she wasn't sure yet what she wanted to be, so she came to Big Sandy Community and Technical College because it was close to home and her family and it was very affordable and she could get a great start. Savi, hoped she would inherit her mother's passion for nursing but that wasn't the case so she chose a different career. Savi will complete her Associate of Arts and her Associate of Science degrees in the Fall of 2013. She currently works at the Hampton Inn in Pikeville as a Front Desk Clerk and worked there while attending college at Big Sandy. When she finishes her degree she plans to transfer to the University of Kentucky and pursue a degree in Radiology.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
Hazard
Steve Jones

Steve Jones

Hazard Community and Technical College

Steve Jones is thankful for the education he received because he loves working and serving others. His very successful career began in 1988 at Hazard Community and Technical College and has held several positions since. Presently, he is the Berea College GEAR UP Service Coordinator for Perry County.

"I grew up in a household where education was valued. My parents expects all of their children to finish high school and attend college. I learned how to discipline myself while in college and what it took to be a successful student and productive citizen," Jones said, who holds a bachelor's degree from Berea College.

As a past employee of HCTC, Steve Jones is very aware of the opportunities offered to those in the region. "Many students, both traditional and nontraditional, depend on what our community college has to offer," Jones said. "HCTC offers numerous technical degrees which allow for students to graduate in a short period of time be employed and earn a great living wage!"

Jones noted, "I know God placed me on this earth to encourage and give hope to young people in my community. HCTC has always been a big part of the equation as I tell everyone I speak to that Faith plus Education equals Hope and Opportunity."

Suzanne Tasayco
Suzanne Tasayco
Gateway
Suzanne Tasayco

Suzanne Tasayco

Gateway Community and Technical College

I was tired of working for companies that did not fulfill my desires in life. I am a giving person, I knew that I wanted a more self-rewarding career. I took a leap and decided to visit a local Gateway campus in Covington, Kentucky. I started out with one course and progressed to a full-time student. I am a mother and a leader at my school, I knew that getting involved within school organizations and events would be beneficial to my growth process of reaching people. I enjoy helping and am passionate about making a difference in others' lives. I want to empower and influence the next generation and that is why I am pursuing an educational degree. I seek to leave an impact in our future generations, we are all capable of something, together we are capable of anything.

Terona Cobble-Johnson
Terona Cobble-Johnson
Bluegrass
Terona Cobble-Johnson

Terona Cobble-Johnson

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Some may say the odds were against her, but Terona considers herself blessed. She was the fourth of nine children, but was given up at birth. At three days old she was adopted by a hardworking, compassionate couple. Her parents gave her a strong Christian foundation of love, perseverance and endurance.

T.C., as she is called by those who know her, grew up on a farm in rural Fayette County. At an early age, the necessity of education and academic success was her parents' mantra. She was the first member of her family to graduate from high school, and later from college. T.C. earned an associate degree in business management from the former Lexington Community College (now Bluegrass Community and Technical College). T.C. was an engaged student and served in many student organizations. She was the president of the Unity B.S.U., a senator of the student government, and a member of the service learning S.W.A.T. Team. After graduation, she accepted a position as office manager for the Kentucky Special Olympics.

In August 2000 she received her bachelor's degree in individual and family development, and continued her career with Fayette County Public Schools as the coordinator of the youth services center at Winburn Middle School. "I work tirelessly with the children and volunteering with many community agencies," said Cobble-Johnson. "I have an undeniable calling to work with children."

Tiffany Faulkner
Tiffany Faulkner
West Kentucky
Tiffany Faulkner

Tiffany Faulkner

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Tiffany Faulkner, 27, is the first in her family to earn a college degree; a dream her mother encouraged and motivated Tiffany to achieve from an early age.

Making her mother proud, Tiffany graduated with an associate degree in business from West Kentucky Community and Technical College in 2008. But Tiffany had another dream "� to be a nurse. She graduated from the LPN program at WKCTC in December of 2009, and with growing confidence, Tiffany has earned a bachelor's degree in nursing and hopes to continue her education with a master's degree.

Now working as an emergency room nurse at DeKalb Medical Center just outside Atlanta, Georgia, Tiffany's is planning for your ultimate life goal "� to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

"By the grace of God and the support of family and friends, I have accomplished every goal I have set for myself," said Tiffany. "With desire, motivation, and determination, the possibilities are endless.

Verna Dorsey
Verna Dorsey
Jefferson
Verna Dorsey

Verna Dorsey

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Armed with a master's degree and a Rank 1 in reading, Verna Dorsey has her dream job, a teacher at Smyrna Elementary in Louisville. Although this comes as no surprise to those who know her, judging from her early life, it might have seemed improbable.

Blessed to find her lifelong love at a young age, Dorsey married and had a daughter. But as a result, she didn't attend high school.

Later she earned her GED. Then as her oldest daughter prepared for college, Dorsey eagerly embraced an opportunity of her own, when her employer, UPS, offered to pay her tuition.

She enrolled at Jefferson Community College (now Jefferson Community & Technical College) in 1988 and earned 60 credit hours that she transferred to Spalding University.

About that time, Dorsey said she became a Christian and began working in the church's Sunday School, which ignited a passion for teaching. She made Education her major and graduated from Spalding with a bachelor's degree in 2000.

She landed a job at Portland Elementary School in Louisville. Then enrolled at Indiana Wesleyan College in 2003 and earned her Master's Degree in Education. In 2010, she earned her Rank 1 in reading from Indiana University Southeast.

Today, she has been married 45 years to Rodney Dorsey and has three grown children. She also wants people to know that obstacles can be overcome in pursuit of a dream.

"As I look back over my journey, I thank God for my accomplishments. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had given up. I want to encourage anyone who thinks that they can't do something to try God, because with Him you can do all things."

Addi Hernandez
Addi Hernandez
Southcentral
Addi Hernandez

Addi Hernandez

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Addi Hernandez is the first person in her family to graduate from high school and attend college. She was born in Michoacan, Mexico the youngest of 10 children. She moved to the United States at the age of two.

Ms. Hernandez completed an associate of applied science degree at Bowling Green Technical College (BGTC). She did not have to look far to find a good career fit. She became employed by BGTC as an administrative assistant at the college's Kentucky Advanced Technology Institute campus. She is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary studies degree at Western Kentucky University.

In addition to her academic and career accomplishments, Ms. Hernandez became a United States citizen in 2012. She also continues to provide encouragement and outreach to Latino students.

Ashley Holmes
Ashley Holmes
Madisonville
Ashley Holmes

Ashley Holmes

Madisonville Community College

Ashley is a teacher at Southside Elementary School. She is a 2004 Madisonville Community College (MCC) graduate. She successfully completed the 2+2 program with Murray State University, earning her bachelor's degree in 2006.

Ashley was one of two minority students in her 2006 graduating class. Since she could not afford to go away to college, she stayed local and enrolled at MCC. She dabbled in a few areas of study, mainly Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and Accounting, before completing her associate in applied science degree in accounting. She also holds an associate in arts transfer degree. Making full use of her Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship money and other minority scholarship awards, Ashley was able to attend college and graduate debt-free. Ashley works with a summer youth program for minority students and tries to be positive role model.

Brittany Bard
Brittany Bard
Madisonville
Brittany Bard

Brittany Bard

Madisonville Community College

For Brittany Bard the confidence to change her major early in her educational journey was made possible via options at Madisonville Community College (MCC).

As a result of her hard work and determination, Ms. Bard is now a certified occupational therapist assistant (OTA) at Kindred Healthcare in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She earned an associate in applied science from MCC in 2008. That same year she was the only minority student in the OTA program, and began a journey to provide a need for a diverse and globally connected workforce in her field.

Ms. Bard began her college studies at Murray State University (MSU) in Murray, Ky. After being enrolled a year and changing her major, of which MSU did not offer, she became aware of the OTA program at MCC. She quickly enrolled at MCC with the hopes of making her hard work bring success in something she felt was a fit for her. After graduation Ms. Bard received her certification from the National Board of Occupational Therapy and began a career that allowed her to provide a range of treatment activities to encourage people from all walks of life.

Ms. Bard enjoys working in a skilled nursing facility, providing therapy and treatment results to elderly patients. She hopes to continue serving this particular need in a community where it is needed.

Carlos Ransey
Carlos Ransey
West Kentucky
Carlos Ransey

Carlos Ransey

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Carlos Ransey decided he needed more education and turned to West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Eagerly, he enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant program in the fall 2006. After hard work and dedication, he graduated with honors and has never looked back.

During high school, life was great for Mr. Ransey academically and the football team he played for had an exceptional record his senior year. But that spring his life took a drastic turn. His beloved aunt passed away and he became deeply depressed, dropping out of school just a few months shy of graduation. Determined to get back on track, he graduated from high school in 1993 and attended Murray State University on a football scholarship. After nearly 10 years, he earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science, yet felt something was still missing.

In honor of his grandmother whom he lost to a heart attack in 1998, Mr. Ransey wanted to make a difference in the lives of others with heart problems. He chose a new career in cardiac rehabilitation. Mr. Ransey currently works in outpatient therapy at Murray Calloway County Hospital. "I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. I love helping others and get joy from seeing them realize they can have a better quality of life if they are willing to work for it. I owe it all to God and WKCTC," said Ransey.

Cedric Burnam
Cedric Burnam
Southcentral
Cedric Burnam

Cedric Burnam

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

For Cedric Burnam attending Bowling Green Technical College was a stepping stone to a successful career niche.

Following electronics training, Mr. Burnam continued his education at the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. He now serves as the President, Owner, Funeral Director/Embalmer and Restorative Art Expert at Burnam and Sons Mortuary & Cremation Services. He has assisted those who have experienced the loss of a loved one since 1974.

Mr. Burnham proudly served his country as a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman and continues to give back to his community. He is a member of New Bethel Baptist Church, Ancient Landmark Lodge #28 F. & A.M. "� P.H.A. and Western Kentucky University President's Circle. He was elected magistrate/Justice of Peace in Warren County (2nd District, 2003-2006). Mr. Burnam and his wife, Judy have three children. With hard work and determination, Mr. Burnam developed the skills to become a successful business owner/entrepreneur and is an inspiration to anyone who strives to do the same.

Charlie Fraley
Charlie Fraley
Elizabethtown
Charlie Fraley

Charlie Fraley

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Charlie Fraley achieved a distinguished army career and retired into a different adventure. He earned his diploma from the Culinary Arts program at what is now known as Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC). Mr. Fraley won gold medals in the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) Culinary Arts, at the local, state and national levels.

Mr. Fraley has been married for 49 years to his high school sweetheart and they have three children and five grandchildren. He worked in food service throughout the Hardin County area until 1999. He and his wife then opened their own business, C&C Mr. Fraley's BBQ, which they operated successfully in Radcliff for more than 10 years. "I love to cook and the culinary arts program gave me the skills I needed to be successful in both the food preparation side and the business side of operating a small business," said Fraley.

In 1987 he culminated 26 years of honorable service as a veteran. Mr. Fraley is most proud of his duty assignments with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions wherein he rose to the rank of sergeant major. His awards and merits include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Numerous Foreign Decorations. He received badges for Combat and Expert Infantryman's, Master Parachutist and Drill Sergeant.

Mr. Fraley takes time to participate in civic affairs, and has served as president of the Radcliff Chamber of Commerce, Radcliff Rotary Clubs and as a member of the Radcliff Housing Authority.

Chenel Stewart
Chenel Stewart
Gateway
Chenel Stewart

Chenel Stewart

Gateway Community and Technical College

Chenel Stewart began her unforgettable educational journey in the business field, resulting in an associate in applied science degree in business management from Gateway Community and Technical College (GCTC).

For Stewart, the thought of higher education was more than a privilege. "By the time I turned 17, I was a married mother. Going to college was never my aspiration; however, after many obstacles and life experiences, I found myself desiring to pursue an education."

Intrigued by business structure and profit generation, Stewart was motivated to apply practical aspects of her education at GCTC. She earned certificates in basic business administration, general business and leadership. As a result, Stewart leads administrative and financial concerns for Totally Radical Young Believers Engaged (TRYBE) ministry in her spare time.

Stewart utilized both traditional and online classes and applauds her instructors at GCTC for their compassion and going beyond their duties to enhance her learning experience. Additionally, she was given the opportunity to immediately utilize her textbook knowledge by operating MoJoe's Café, the first-student run business at Gateway. "I believe the sky is the limit because of my education at Gateway Community and Technical College. This experience has exceeded my wildest expectations," she said.

Stewart hopes to continue to improve things and dynamically empower her community.

Chris Locke
Chris Locke
Gateway
Chris Locke

Chris Locke

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Chris Locke has demonstrated a long history of community service and leadership for which he credits Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC). He began his postsecondary education at JCTC in the early 1990s and later transferred to the University of Louisville where he earned a bachelor's degree. Following graduation, Mr. Locke launched an extensive career dedicated to serving others, which lead to his current role as vice president of employment services for Goodwill of Southern Indiana, Inc. He is also a member of the Leadership Southern Indiana class of 2013 and a graduate of the Leadership and Diversity Class, sponsored by Spalding University and the Bearden Group.

Mr. Locke says JCTC was critical during that time of his life. "It put me in the company of positive, passionate, and caring individuals and sparked my belief in life-long learning. If not for several faculty and staff demonstrating a vested interest and confidence in me, many of the opportunities I've experienced would not have happened."

When not at his day job, Mr. Locke serves on the Community Development Corporation for Highland Park Missionary Baptist Church and holds numerous honors including a Governor's Citation from the KCCVS, and the Oliver Heston Volunteer Service Award from Jefferson County Public Schools Headstart Programs. He has led many educational initiatives with the local PTA, Parent Leadership Programs, and as chairman for the Head Start Policy Council.

Danny Anderson
Danny Anderson
Hopkinsville
Danny Anderson

Danny Anderson

Hopkinsville Community College

For Danny Anderson, graduating from Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) in 2008 with a degree in nursing has opened his eyes to the world and allowed him to represent a beacon of hope to other African-American males.

Mr. Anderson is the first male in his family to graduate from college. He grew up in Detroit, Michigan with his five siblings and remembers how his mom stressed the need for education. After graduating high school, he joined the military and worked as an aviation and communication equipment repair specialist. Mr. Anderson served six years in the military, followed by work in a Hopkinsville auto factory.

He says the most memorable and pivotal life moments in 2001 were: "The moment I decided the need to do something different "� go to college, and September 11." Mr. Anderson was alongside his factory co-workers as the news unraveled of the attacks. Soon after that tragic day, the auto industry slowed down. It wasn't a good sign for a recent high school graduate like Anderson.

Mr. Anderson is very appreciative of his HCC journey. "Education has broken the "generational curse" that many children are born into, where they just do not see opportunities for success in their future," said Anderson. He and his wife are role models to their nieces and nephews. They're able to witness a "hands on, no excuses philosophy toward community college education"� that is accessible to everyone. You just have to take the step to enroll."

Mr. Anderson is employed in the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his bachelor's degree in nursing in December 2012.

David Henry
David Henry
Maysville
David Henry

David Henry

Maysville Community and Technical College

David Henry, a native of Maysville, Kentucky and the youngest of nine children did not know what the future held for him but Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) allowed him to design a plan toward a true calling. Mr. Henry graduated cum Laude with an associate in arts degree from MCTC in 2001.

He graduated from Maysville High School in 1986 and decided to attend Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). After being enrolled at EKU for a year, Mr. Henry made a decision to serve his country.

He enlisted in the navy in 1987 and served in the Persian Gulf War. Afterward, he returned to Maysville and worked for Hillshire Farms/Sara Lee until he determined his future goals. "I needed more in my life and had an experience that would change my life forever" said Henry. His need to seek more ambition to succeed led him to MCTC. He was active on campus, serving as the vice president for the student body, founder/president of Christian Fellowship Club, and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Program.

Mr. Henry later utilized his degree and became an entrepreneur for several ventures: David Henry's Trucking Company/Logistic, D & V Carpet Cleaning and co-owner of Exclusive Clothing. Mr. Henry currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida and works at the Mayo Clinic. Personally, he wants to remain known by many as "a faithful friend, superintendent of Sunday school, deacon, minister, faithful husband and dedicated father."

Derek Brown
Derek Brown
Somerset
Derek Brown

Derek Brown

Somerset Community College

Mr. Derek Brown excelled in academics, explored new skills, and created opportunity when he graduated from Somerset Community College (SCC) in May 2011 with an associates in applied science degree from the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program.

Mr. Brown received The John T. Smith Scholarship presented to academically prepared minority students. Prior to attending the SCC PTA program, he received a bachelor's degree in business administration and computer information systems from Morehead State University. In June 2011, Mr. Brown became employed with Drayer Physical Therapy in Winchester, Ky. He also serves Saint Joseph Healthcare in Lexington, as a PTA and has been a physical therapy technician at Saint Joseph Healthcare and Central Baptist Hospital.

Mr. Brown volunteered as a past co-coordinator for the SCC annual Career Fair and as a volunteer speaker for the PTA Program's New Student Orientation. During campus tours he presented to students about the physical therapy profession and was a student co-coordinator for the PTA Program's Excellence through Diversity meet and greet. Mr. Brown was a member of the SCC Physical Therapy Student Organization and led others as a PTA class liaison and class historian.

Mr. Brown worked for the Richmond Police Department's youth summer camp. He has also been an integral part in the SCC Governor's Minority Student College Preparation Program serving, as an educator/mentor during the year-long programs. "Those are two years of my life that will never be forgotten and will remain in my heart as two of my better years in life" said Brown.

Ed L. Thompson, Jr.
Ed L. Thompson, Jr.
Bluegrass
Ed L. Thompson, Jr.

Ed L. Thompson, Jr.

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Ed L. Thompson, Jr. began his career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1987 and became a Student Trainee in 1988. He obtained an associate in science degree from Lexington Community College (LCC), now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC).

Mr. Thompson initially enrolled at the University of Kentucky (UK), but quickly transferred to LCC to complete his basic undergraduate studies. He later transferred back to UK and received a bachelor of science degree in Agronomy in 1993.

During his 25 years with the USDA, Mr. Thompson has served as a technical professional within the NRCS. He is currently a program manager with the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach Administration. Mr. Thompson is responsible for student recruitment and retention in the fields of agriculture, sciences and technology, and also as a liaison for services to individuals and groups through Kentucky State University. "I use my experience of working with the students, faculty and staff in preparing graduates for employment with the USDA and private sector agricultural based industries," said Thompson. He also administers the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program, which provides new and continuing college students full tuition scholarships and career experiences.

Mr. Thompson attributes completing a college degree to choosing the right environment. "LCC let me focus on pursuing my degree while allowing me to juggle my part-time career with USDA. The small classroom setting prepared me to transfer to a larger higher education institution."

With hard work and determination, Ed made it. And, so can you.

Larry Tutt
Larry Tutt
Henderson
Larry Tutt

Larry Tutt

Henderson Community College

Larry Tutt uses a unique opportunity to wear several hats as an educator and a community mentor. His actions provide clear examples of his commitment in the role of associate professor at Henderson Community College (HCC). He also currently serves as the coordinator of Disability Support Services. Mr. Tutt graduated from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee and earned a bachelor of arts degree. He later continued his education at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky where he earned a master of science degree in human services.

Mr. Tutt is proud of his 24 years at HCC. In addition to the roles mentioned above, he has held several other integral roles such as coordinator of the human service program, coordinator of student activities, and off campus coordinator to part-time instructors. His commitment to education has brought attention to his qualities for teamwork and leadership. Mr. Tutt has been chosen to participate on the committee for Braves 2 College. Braves 2 College is a scholarship program at Union County high school that requires recipients to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA during their four years of high school.

Mr. Tutt is a member of HCC's Diversity Learning Community and enjoys the opportunity to coordinate the annual Super Sunday Initiative, in Union County. He hopes to continue inspiring others as an educator, coordinator and a committed community representative.

Lee A. Jackson
Lee A. Jackson
Southeast
Lee A. Jackson

Lee A. Jackson

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Lee A. Jackson graduated from Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) in 1970 and the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1973. His accomplishments follow him even beyond retirement, as he never stops giving back to his community.

Mr. Jackson is now retired after spending 31 years in state government. He served as president of the Kentucky Association of State Employees (KASE) AFT-Kentucky and vice president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO. He spends a commendable amount of his time volunteering in his church, the Lexington community and his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Mr. Jackson holds the title of the current president of the Lyman T. Johnson University of Kentucky Alumni Constituency Group. His other endeavors include serving in the capacity of financial secretary for the Dr. Roy P. and Juanita Betz Peterson Arts and Education Fund, Inc., vice chair of Evergreen-Brucetown, Inc. and coordinator of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast in Lexington-Fayette Urban County. Mr. Jackson was honored as a recipient of the UK Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 2010.

Ludrenia Sue Hagans-Shepherd
Ludrenia Sue Hagans-Shepherd
Hazard
Ludrenia Sue Hagans-Shepherd

Ludrenia Sue Hagans-Shepherd

Hazard Community and Technical College

For Ludrenia Sue Hagans-Shepherd, Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) provided her stepping stones to achieve her goals of teaching and caring for others.

In August 1990, Ms. Hagans-Shepherd completed an associate in applied science degree (AAS) in nursing from HCTC, the college where she currently works as a nursing professor. After graduating with her AAS and her registered nursing license, she worked in the healthcare industry for two years before beginning her teaching career in 1992.

Early in her teaching career Ms. Hagans-Shepherd was also caring for eight children, her disabled husband and adopting/fostering many children. Ms. Hagans-Shepherd earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky in 1997, graduating with her eldest child. She later earned her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 2000. Following the death of her husband in 2003, she took a first-time flight to Rutgers University and earned a Post-Master's certificate in education. She recently earned certification as a professional legal nurse consultant.

HCTC Nursing Professor Hagans-Shepherd says teaching is personally rewarding. "I have the opportunity to guide students to reach high expectations, be the best they can be, and never stop learning. My life is a testament of where students can go with persistence and dedication for the care of our people in eastern Kentucky."

Along with her other accomplishments, Ms. Hagans-Shepherd has been active with the NAACP, serving as president and currently advisor for six years. She appreciates HCTC for allowing her dreams to "become a true life story."

Melinda Johnson
Melinda Johnson
Ashland
Melinda Johnson

Melinda Johnson

Ashland Community and Technical College

For Melinda Johnson, an associate in science degree from Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) began a journey into higher education she believed was unobtainable.

Growing up in South Point, Ohio where many families focus on graduating high school, followed by work in the manufacturing industry because of little to no other options, it was difficult for her to break the cycle of "blue collar" employment and begin a new chapter in her life as a college student.

Being a non-traditional student with children, Ms. Johnson has received an enormous amount of encouragement and support from all of those involved in her accomplishments in math and natural sciences at ACTC. She received many awards and honors for her academic success. Her achievements at ACTC have given her the initiative to help other students succeed by becoming a Supplemental Instruction Leader at the college in math and natural sciences.

Building on her science background from ACTC, Ms. Johnson will graduate from Marshall University in May 2013, with a bachelor of science degree. Additionally, she will complete her first study on cancer research in mice at Marshall University for publication in the spring. She will pursue a master's degree from the same institution in biomedical science, with emphasis in molecular biology geared toward cancer research.

Ms. Johnson will continue to serve as a role model, encouraging students in her community to follow their educational dreams, as she has done.

Michael Alexander
Michael Alexander
Southeast
Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

For Michael Alexander, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) was the initial step toward his outstanding academic career. Mr. Alexander earned a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of Louisville.

Before completing his JD degree, Mr. Alexander completed a bachelor of arts degree from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, as well as a master of education degree.

While growing up in Lynch, his major pursuits were having a good time, partying and dancing. No one would have guessed Mr. Alexander would eventually become Deputy General Counsel to the Governor of Kentucky. Mr. Alexander has held this role since April 1993 and he still considers it "exciting and rewarding." He has worked for the last four Kentucky Governors rendering professional legal advice. Mr. Alexander also is a member of the National Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association and the NAACP.

Mr. Alexander credits W. Bruce Ayers, president and CEO of SKCTC, as an outstanding inspirational foundation in his academic career. "When I was preparing to attend high school in 1969, Bruce put me in the Upward Bound Program and taught me the fundamental writing skills that I've used on a daily basis since then." Mr. Alexander also has high praise for the quality teaching he received at Southeast. "I am most fond of my spring and summer classes of 1973 and those during the summer of 1974. I will cherish those days."

Mr. Alexander is married and is the proud father of eight children. He also is a member of the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
System Office
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

System Office

Porter G. Peeples, Sr., is the chairman of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents. He is a graduate of the former Southeast Community College (now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College) and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor of arts in elementary and special education. For the past 42 years Mr. Peeples has served as the President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League.

Over the years, Peeples has helped others by raising money, finding people jobs and helping them with affordable housing. He still believes in the value of hard work and education he learned at an early age, and said preparing for success should always be a goal for students.

Peeples was appointed in August 2006 by then Gov. Ernie Fletcher to serve a six-year term on the KCTCS Board of Regents. In 2009, he was elected to serve a two-year term as KCTCS board secretary and as a board vice chair in 2010. His new chair position will expire in June 2013. He is the fifth person to serve in this role.

Raul Urias
Raul Urias
Big Sandy
Raul Urias

Raul Urias

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

For Raul Urias, returning to college at the Pikeville Campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) fulfilled a journey he began 11 years earlier, leading to an associate degree in industrial maintenance and a new career option.

Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Mr. Urias grew up on the Fort Richardson Army base where his mom was stationed. After graduating from high school in 1997 he enrolled in Prestonsburg Community College but veered off of the educational path. He was encouraged by his wife of 10 years to return to school, complete his degree and be a role model for their nine year-old daughter. Mr. Urias praises BSCTC faculty and staff for his wonderful postsecondary educational experience. He says they guided him in a direction he needed in order to succeed and accomplish his goals. "I had one instructor, Mr. Charles K. Moore, who went above and beyond and he is a cherished friend now. The Karate Club and Christian Student Union (C.S.U.) also helped me in so many ways to not just develop my mind, but also my body and soul."

Support from BSCTC gave Mr. Urias the confidence he needed to pursue a field outside his degree. He is now a Corrections Officer/Deputy Jailer for the Pike County Detention Center.

Mr. Urias plans to pursue his lifelong ambition to earn an associate degree in criminal justice. He keeps a simple philosophy in mind for every situation... "It's like a recipe. You may like some ingredients better than others, but all ingredients are needed. This is proof the road of life will lead you down different paths, but with hard work everything will fall in place."

Shalanda Williams
Shalanda Williams
Owensboro
Shalanda Williams

Shalanda Williams

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Shalanda Williams began her journey at Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) with hopes of a higher education, even when others believed it was unobtainable. "When God tells you your purpose, follow it. It took me a while, but I am on my way to following God's purpose" said Williams.

Ms. Williams dreamed of being a lawyer or a judge. But after high school graduation in 1999 she went to college and encountered people who challenged her dream. "They told me I wasn't smart enough. They said law school would be too challenging for a single mother. They were wrong; I just needed time to prove it."

Ms. Williams began at OCTC and studied radiology, then business. Later, she dropped out but then returned to college at the Owensboro campus of Western Kentucky University. She still had the goal in mind to be a lawyer and after more discouragement from others she tried another major but quickly lost interest. After her second child was born, Ms. Williams decided she was going to follow her dream.

Being a non-traditional student, working full-time and taking care of her children, Ms. Williams took classes at OCTC & WKU to complete a bachelor's degree. She worked diligently, even taking a class during her lunch hour. Upon graduating from WKU, she was accepted to Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando, Florida. She packed up her family of three children and moved to Orlando. In April 2012, she graduated from law school. Well on her way to accomplishing her dreams, Shalanda passed the Georgia bar exam in October 2012.

Aaron Carew
Aaron Carew
Hopkinsville
Aaron Carew

Aaron Carew

Hopkinsville Community College

Aaron Carew is an emerging talent from the University of Southern California's acclaimed School of Cinematic Arts, Peter Stark Producing Program where he earned a master of fine arts degree. He has worked with several industry leading companies and community organizations such as, United Talent Agency, Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment, The Palm Springs Film Festival, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Women in Film to name a few. He made his directorial debut with a short film entitled A Final Gift, which premiered to a packed house at Sony Pictures Studio in February of 2013.

Mr. Carew began his foray into higher education as a Private, First Class in the Army at Fort Campbell and was a student of HCC at the Fort Campbell campus on post. He had two deployments to Iraq while stationed at Ft. Campbell. He graduated from HCC with an associate in arts in 2009 and went on to complete a bachelor of arts degree in 2011, graduating magna cum laude from the University of California, Riverside. Additionally, Mr. Carew won the Chancellor's Excellence Award in undergraduate studies for the University of California system.

Of his time at HCC, Mr. Carew relates, "Thank you for all your guidance and support while I was at Fort Campbell. I remember walking the halls of the Ed Center like it was last quarter. HCC was where this all started for me and you all are the reflection of my success."

Mr. Carew represents what is best and honorable about our student soldiers," stated HCC Interim President Lake. "During his time at HCC, starting with the rank of bottom line private, he not only completed his coursework, he deployed twice, and rose to the rank of SGT E-5 before discharge. His great success beyond our college is a true inspiration."

Alitta Leachman
Alitta Leachman
Owensboro
Alitta Leachman

Alitta Leachman

Owensboro Community and Technical College

After working in manufacturing all her life at 39 years old, Alitta Leachman found herself a divorced mother of two. She realized that she needed to take control of her life. Enrolling at OCTC she found she was eligible for the Ready to Work program. She served as a work-study student while earning her Associate in Science degree and became an employee of the college as a Transitional Specialist in the adult education program. Alitta continued her educational path while working at OCTC earning both a Bachelor's degree in HR from WKU with a double minor in CIS and Entrepreneurship, then going on to earn a Master'sdegree in Human Development and Leadership from MSU.

Alitta applies that same dedication to her job helping students. "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with many students of various cultures and different backgrounds. I enjoy seeing the students achieve their educational, work and personal goals. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I had a part in helping someone take control of their life and achieve their goals."

With hard work and determination, Alitta made it. And, so can you.

Doug Davis
Doug Davis
Madisonville
Doug Davis

Doug Davis

Madisonville Community College

Doug Davis graduated from Madisonville Community College with an Associate in Arts Degree, and is continuing his education at Murray State University in pursuit of a degree in Social Work.

Just as higher education transformed Doug's life, he hopes to make a difference in other people lives. Doug is employed with ResCare and Pennyroyal Mental Health Center where he mentors children and adults. He also works part-time at UPS.

With hard work and determination, Doug made it. And, so can you.

Emmanual Joseph
Emmanual Joseph
Madisonville
Emmanual Joseph

Emmanual Joseph

Madisonville Community College

Emmanuel Joseph came to BSCTC in the fall of 2009 from Ouanaminthe in the northeastern part of Haiti.

Emmanuel excelled academically and was an exemplary scholar in the BSCTC Honors Program. Emmanuel has maintained a 3.72 overall GPA in a very rigorous, pre-professional curriculum.

Emmanuel was accepted to Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky in 2011.

"My stay at Big Sandy has been the greatest thing ever in my life. I cannot imagine a better place than Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Deep in my heart, I consider and will always consider the college as my "mother-college", meaning the one that has given birth to me as far as ge􀆫ng a higher education is concerned. I would not change this wonderful environment for anything at all. The education system here is of great quality. The folks are loving and caring. I just love it here! And no matter where I go and who I become, Big Sandy will always have a special place in my heart."

Grace Milan
Grace Milan
Madisonville
Grace Milan

Grace Milan

Madisonville Community College

Grace Milan graduated from Madisonville Community College with an Associate in Arts Degree, and continued her education at Western Kentucky University where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.

Grace is currently employed at Longest Elementary School as a second grade teacher. This is her eleventh year teaching. With hard work and determination, Grace made it. And, so can you.

Dr. Jahrael Burrell
Dr. Jahrael Burrell
Hopkinsville
Dr. Jahrael Burrell

Dr. Jahrael Burrell

Hopkinsville Community College

Dr. Jahrael Burrell began his higher education endeavors at Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) in the spring of 1993. He then transferred to Kentucky State University (KSU) Kentucky's only Historically Black College. In addition, he also attended Western Kentucky University (WKU) as a Visiting Scholar in the summer of 1996.

In 1998, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and History from KSU where he focused on cultural similarities, critical synthesis, and integrated studies. He graduated cum laude and was nationally recognized for his scholarship and research in the social sciences. His Senior Thesis was entitled, A Comparative Narrative: W.E.B. Dubois and Aristotle's Talented Tenth.

Dr. Burrell earned a Masters of Science degree in human ecology from Kansas State University in 2003, where he focused his research on families and diversity looking at the perceptions of individuals and their commitment to strong families across race and ethnicity.

He earned his Ph.D. in family studies and human services in May of 2009 at Kansas State University. There he was an instructor, researcher, and mentor in the College of Human Ecology. He wrote his dissertation entitled, The Influences of Gender, Generation, and Race/Ethnicity on Hegemony in Contemporary America so the voice of minority groups will be heard and that their rights, their thoughts, and their ideas will no longer be silent.

Dr. Jahrael Burrell is currently serving as interim program coordinator and instructor for human services program at Hopkinsville Community College.

Jarvis Williams
Jarvis Williams
Hazard
Jarvis Williams

Jarvis Williams

Hazard Community and Technical College

For Jarvis Williams, Hazard Community & Technical College was the first step toward his extensive academic career which resulted in his earning a doctorate degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville.

While growing up in Red Fox in Knott County where basketball and baseball were the most important things to him at the time, he would not have guessed that he would now be an assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville.

Dr. Williams has high praise for the quality teaching he received at HCTC. "They were especially personable and compassionate. I am most fond of the English courses I took during the spring of 1997 and summer of 1999."

Dr. Williams graduated from Knott County Central in 1996 where he was a sports standout. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the James P. Boyce College in Louisville; a Master of Divinity in Biblical and Theological Studies, a Master of Theology, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.

Dr. Williams was attracted to teaching for several reasons; he said his top two were: "My love and desire to impact and shape the minds of the future with a Christ-centered, biblical worldview and my love for Christian scholarship."

Besides being an author of several books and articles, Dr. Williams is a member of The American Academy of Religion, The Evangelical Theological Society, The Institute for Biblical Research, and The Society of Biblical Literature.

Dr. Jerome (Ronnie) Ratchford
Dr. Jerome (Ronnie) Ratchford
Southeast
Dr. Jerome (Ronnie) Ratchford

Dr. Jerome (Ronnie) Ratchford

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Counselor! Scholar! Master Teacher! Advocate! Leader! Diplomat! Pioneer! Communicator! Achiever! All are fitting to describe Harlan County native Dr. Jerome (Ronnie) Ratchford.

He was born in Lynch the eldest child of Otis and Louvenia Ratchford. His journey has extended from Lynch West Main High School, class of 1960, to academic experiences and degrees earned at the University of Kentucky, Indiana University and Bowling Green State University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in educational leadership. He began his collegiate studies as one the first students to enroll at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College. That journey has also seen him hold academic and administrative posts at Talladega College, Emory University, Lincoln University and Kennesaw State University.

Dr. Ratchford enjoyed an exceptional professional career. He has taught graduate-level educational leadership and curriculum development courses to aspiring principals and career teachers. He has also taught graduate-level students in the area of working effectively with learners who are culturally diverse.

Overall, Dr. Ratchford has served professionally as an administrator in higher education. He has had administrative oversight over a number of units at the institutions he has served. Presently, he serves as Vice President of the Division of Student Success at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. Prior to this position, he served as the Dean of Students and Director of the Student Development Department.

Additionally, he has frequently been asked to serve as a presenter, keynote speaker, panelist, workshop facilitator and researcher. He is the recipient of numerous honors and special recognitions. One such honor was the "Jerome Ratchford Lifetime Achievement Award" which was established by the Executive Board of the African American Student Alliance (AASA). He is also the recipient of Kennesaw State University Administrative Service Award.

He is married to Dr. Cynthia W. Ratchford; they are the parents of two children.

Reverend John Pettigrew
Reverend John Pettigrew
Elizabethtown
Reverend John Pettigrew

Reverend John Pettigrew

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Reverend John Pettigrew graduated from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in 1966 with an Associate in Arts Degree, and continued his undergraduate education at Rehboth Christian College and graduate work at Christian Theological Seminary. John focused on ministering to the needs of disadvantaged inner city youth, and his programs have been recognized as exemplary models of successful intervention. Today, Pettigrew Ministries creates new church starts to eventually hand over to young first-time pastors. He mentors student ministers, is publishing a training manual and is pursuing a doctorate in theology.

Reverend Pettigrew followed his life's passion and lives his dream. And, so can you.

Jonathon Wilson
Jonathon Wilson
Elizabethtown
Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon Wilson

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Jonathon Wilson a native of Somerset, Kentucky, Jonathon Wilson followed his dream of many years. After graduating from Somerset High School, he enlisted in the United States Army and underwent training that resulted in his becoming a Military Police Officer with specialized Airborne Training. This path led him to accept deployments to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo; the Pentagon; and to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan "� all in his first stint in the service.

When Jonathon returned from service to Somerset, he immediately enrolled in Somerset Community College where he earned two Associate Degrees, one in Applied Science, and one in Criminal Justice. He also served Somerset Community College as its first Safety and Security Coordinator, responsible for safety and security for all six College sites.

As a transfer student, Eastern Kentucky University was his next location where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Police Studies and a minor in Psychology. There he was inducted into the Criminal Justice professional fraternity of Lambda Alpha Epsilon Chapter Lambda Omicron Pi.

Wilson briefly served in the U.S. Marshall Service in Washington, DC, and immediately followed this service as an Officer in the U.S. Army. He currently serves our country in Afghanistan and plans to return to Fort Knox, Kentucky in the near future. Following his enrollment and completion of degrees at Somerset Community College, Wilson made a successful transition to life. His life was transformed by his education in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Kathryn H. Hunt
Kathryn H. Hunt
Bluegrass
Kathryn H. Hunt

Kathryn H. Hunt

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Kathryn H. Hunt graduated from Lexington Community College (LCC) now known as Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) in 1989 with an associate in arts degree and later transferred to the University of Louisville where she became the first African American to graduate from the physical therapy program.

Upon completion of the physical therapy program, Hunt worked at the University of Kentucky outpatient department for thirteen years before joining Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, where she has worked for the last seven years. She also works as a lab assistant to Tony English Ph.D., where she provides clinical input and serves as a mentor for current and perspective physical therapy students. Additionally, Hunt works with Fayette County Public School's Experienced-Based Career Education program for high school students, and with other student volunteers who have an interest in the physical therapy profession.

As a child, Hunt had to overcome significant academic challenges and a childhood spent caring for her ill mother. When she began college, she arrived with a strong desire to achieve, but lacked confidence in her academic abilities. She recounts, "I remember my notebook paper smudged and torn, by repetitive erasing, and soggy from tears . . . from my difficulties [with math]". But Kathryn's dedication to learning prevailed and today her occupational achievements in the field of physical therapy and her role as a mentor to young students across Fayette County make her a notable alumnus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Kinta Joseph
Kinta Joseph
Gateway
Kinta Joseph

Kinta Joseph

Gateway Community and Technical College

Kinta Joseph graduated from Gateway Community and Technical College with an associate degree in criminal justice and transferred to Northern Kentucky University, where she plans to obtain a bachelor's degree. A Hurricane Katrina survivor from the 8th Ward in New Orleans, Kinta did not believe she was college material when she moved to Northern Kentucky in 2005. A social worker pointed her to the former Urban Learning Center, now Gateway's Urban Center, where she took a few college classes. This experience led her to become a full-time student at Gateway and to eventually obtain a degree. Along with her degree, Kinta scored A's in all her classes and received the 2009 President's Award as Gateway's most outstanding graduate.

A few years ago, Kinta was locked in a succession of dead-end jobs. Now she looks forward to a future helping juvenile offenders rebuild their lives.

With hard work and determination, Kinta is climbing the ladder of success. So can you.

Lesley Mayberry
Lesley Mayberry
Maysville
Lesley Mayberry

Lesley Mayberry

Maysville Community and Technical College

Lesley Mayberry graduated from Maysville Community and Technical College with an associate in arts degree in 2006. She enrolled in the University of Kentucky to pursue a bachelor of arts degree in English, which she completed in 2008. While attending UK, she worked at the Disability Resource Center and discovered a passion for helping individuals with disabilities.

A year later, Mayberry continued into the graduate program in rehabilitation counseling at UK and received her master's degree in December 2010, along with her certification. She currently volunteers at Hospice of Hope as well as in a Straub Elementary preschool classroom.

Mayberry is involved with The Learning Academy, a group designed to help children who need extra assistance in school. She also assists with the design and implementation of learning activities for the Ann DeSpain Reading Program, and serves as secretary on the Board of Founders

Melitta Williams
Melitta Williams
Maysville
Melitta Williams

Melitta Williams

Maysville Community and Technical College

Melitta Williams graduated from Maysville Community & Technical College in 2004 with an Associate in Arts degree. She continued her education through Lindsey Wilson College in 2006 where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and Counseling. In 2010, Melitta went back to further her education by completing a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Capella University. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Adult Education and will graduate in 2012

"As I look back on my beginning journey at Maysville Community & Technical College," says Williams, "I have learned it is important to have a mission and vision in getting to the next steps of my professional endeavors. I have been able to obtain success through hard work and determination. It is a great pleasure and honor to be acknowledged for success in life."

Melitta is the mother of a five year old daughter. She plans to continue her education by completing a doctoral degree in the criminal justice field within the next six years.

Michael Pryor
Michael Pryor
West Kentucky
Michael Pryor

Michael Pryor

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Pastor Michael Pryor graduated with distinction from West Kentucky Community and Technical College with an Associate of Arts degree. Pastor Pryor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biblical studies from Mid-Continent Bible College; and he is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Murray State University. Originally from Fulton, Pastor Pryor owned and operated a successful barber and beauty shop in the small town for more than ten years. But in 2008, "God compelled me to establish the House of Hope Ministries," he said, "a church offering hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless and Christ to the Christ-less."

With what began with just seven faithful followers, House of Hope has grown to more than 200 members in a little more than three years.

With faith and determination, Pastor Pryor made it. And, so can you.

Michelle Chappell
Michelle Chappell
Henderson
Michelle Chappell

Michelle Chappell

Henderson Community College

Michelle Chappell graduated from Henderson Community College (HCC) with an Associate of Science degree in Management Information System and bachelors of Science degree from University of Southern Indiana (USI) in Applied Computer Science. She is currently enrolled at Morehead State University in the Masters of Science Information System program and will complete this degree in December 2011. She is currently employed at the Henderson Community College as an Information Technology Instructor in the Social/Behavioral Sciences and Related Technologies Department.

Michelle credits much of her success to the support of her family, friends and extended family at Henderson Community College and Owensboro Community and Technical College. They have mentored her through her journey and still are good resources to use if she ever has a problem or needs advice. Education is a key to her success and using the motivating message from her late grandmother, "Education is something no one can take from you; always get as much of it that you can." She hopes to inspire her students with this philosophy.

Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright
Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright
Owensboro
Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright

Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright was born and raised in Owensboro. She graduated from Owensboro High School where she was on the first Girls Track Team, winning a state championship in her senior year. After earning her license in Cosmetology, Pam was the first African-American to work in an all white beauty salon in Owensboro. She has owned Tastefully Yours, a catering business, for over 20 years. Pam was the first African-American to hold the office of President of the Kentucky AmVets Ladies Auxiliary. In her bid for a seat on the Owensboro City Commission, she was the top vote getter in the primary and general elections, making her the first woman to hold the office of Mayor Pro Tem.

Pam has served on the Advisory Board of Cosmetology for OCTC since 1975. She is a graduate of Leadership Owensboro and The Kentucky Women's Leadership Network. She holds the rank of Kentucky Colonel and serves as President of the Lady Kentucky Colonels. She is Past President of the Owensboro Human Relations Commission and she received the Owensboro Human Relations Humanitarian Award in 1999. In 2005 and 2010 she was an Athena Award nominee. Pam and her husband Eugene Wright have two children and two wonderful grandchildren.

With hard work and determination, Pam made it. And, so can you.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
System Office
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

System Office

Porter G. Peeples, Sr., is the chairman of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents. He is a graduate of the former Southeast Community College (now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College) and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor of arts in elementary and special education. For the past 42 years Mr. Peeples has served as the President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League.

Over the years, Peeples has helped others by raising money, finding people jobs and helping them with affordable housing. He still believes in the value of hard work and education he learned at an early age, and said preparing for success should always be a goal for students.

Peeples was appointed in August 2006 by then Gov. Ernie Fletcher to serve a six-year term on the KCTCS Board of Regents. In 2009, he was elected to serve a two-year term as KCTCS board secretary and as a board vice chair in 2010. His new chair position will expire in June 2013. He is the fifth person to serve in this role.

Samuel Thomas
Samuel Thomas
Big Sandy
Samuel Thomas

Samuel Thomas

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Samuel Thomas graduated from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) in May 2011 with an Associate in Science degree. While at BSCTC, Samuel raised his GPA and was included on the President's List and Dean's List multiple times. Currently, Samuel is enrolled at both BSCTC and Morehead State University. He is vice-president of BSCTC's Student Government Association and treasurer of its Multi Student Organization. Samuel's goals for the future include developing a non-profit biodiesel research company in Salyersville, KY.

Sherita Clark
Sherita Clark
Southcentral
Sherita Clark

Sherita Clark

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Sherita Clark graduated from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (formerly Bowling Green Technical College) with an Associate's Degree in General Occupational Technical Studies and is currently pursuing a second Degree in Business Administration Human Resource Management. She started as a student worker for Bowling Green Technical College's Business Studies Division while she pursued her first degree, and soon after graduation she was hired in a full-time role as the Administrative Assistant. Her role at the college has proven to be invaluable, as she serves as a motivator and mentor for all students on a daily basis. Her drive and determination to continue to strive towards completing her educational goals are just a few of the many things that make Sherita an exemplary role model.

Sherman Bush
Sherman Bush
Jefferson
Sherman Bush

Sherman Bush

Jefferson Community and Technical College

Sherman Bush received an associate degree from Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC), and his bachelor and master's degrees from the University of Louisville.

He is a counselor and professor at JCTC.

"My life is much better because of my deciding to pursue a college degree. I learned so much, met wonderful people and sat at the feet of great instructors and professors. Further, it prepared me for life and the benefits a college education would provide."

Teresa Spann
Teresa Spann
West Kentucky
Teresa Spann

Teresa Spann

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Teresa Spann graduated in 1995 with an Associate of Science degree in education from the community college in Paducah, KY. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from WKU and a principal certificate from Murray State University.

Spann, an eighth grade teacher at Paducah Middle School, believes in teaching her students about the importance of getting a college education and using God's gifts to help them achieve their goals.

"I tell them that everyday is a learning moment and the decisions they make today directly affects their choices of tomorrow." With hard work and determination, Teresa makes a difference every day.

Zita Eley
Zita Eley
Ashland
Zita Eley

Zita Eley

Ashland Community and Technical College

Mrs. Zita Eley graduated from Ashland Community College, a predecessor of ACTC, with an Associate Degree in Nursing and from Ohio University Southern with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She is certified in wound care by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN®).

A lifelong Ashland, KY resident, Eley has worked for over 20 years at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, WV, where she is currently Wound Care Coordinator. She is dedicated to her patients and her profession. "I owe the veterans my freedom, and that is one of the reasons I love my job," she said.

She is a member of the National WOCN Society and is active in Christ Temple Church. She is an advocate of higher education and encourages young people to make the most of their educational opportunities.

Adrene Commodore
Adrene Commodore
Maysville
Adrene Commodore

Adrene Commodore

Maysville Community and Technical College

Adrene Commodore came to Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) with the intention of taking one nurse aide course. She needed the skills to help take care of an ailing mother. As a mother of two small children, Adrene saw the need to further her education after accepting a job as an aide in a local nursing home. She returned to the Licking Valley Campus of MCTC to take the next step in her allied health education and received training as a medication aide.

With two successful credentials under her belt, Adrene decided to take a real leap of faith and enroll as a full-time MCTC student. She became part of one of the first night and weekend nursing programs in the state. The flexible schedule meant Adrene could keep her job and care for her family while she earned her degree.

What was born out of necessity has become her passion and now Adrene is the Assistant Director of Grand Haven Nursing Home in Cynthiana, Kentucky. Adrene knows with passion and persistence you can accomplish your goals. So can you.

Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson
Madisonville
Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson

Madisonville Community College

Andy Johnson graduated from Madisonville Community College with a diploma in nursing and an associate of applied science degree. He is continuing his education through KCTCS to obtain licensure as a registered nurse. His career aspiration is to work in the field of forensic science nursing.

Andy currently works as a unit manager for a local rehabilitation and nursing facility. He previously owned a healthcare contracting business. When asked about his success, Andy says he gives credit to his teachers and staff who helped him, his children for inspiration, his wife for drive, and most of all, God for strength, courage and perseverance.

With hard work and determination, Andy made it. So can you.

Ashley Kirk
Ashley Kirk
Southcentral
Ashley Kirk

Ashley Kirk

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Ashley Kirk graduated from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (Formerly Bowling Green Technical College (BGTC)) with an associate degree in surgical technology and returned to obtain an associate degree in nursing. She is currently continuing her education at Western Kentucky University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing. Ashley previously worked as a surgical technologist at T.J. Sampson Hospital in Glasgow and is now working in the intensive care unit of The Medical Center of Bowling Green as an registered nurse.

Ashley chose BGTC for her educational preparation because of the high quality of education and Individual attention they provide. Her positive experience at BGTC helped jump-start her education and career.

Beirut C. Wall
Beirut C. Wall
West Kentucky
Beirut C. Wall

Beirut C. Wall

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Beirut C. Wall had been out of high school a few years when he decided he wanted to be a chemical engineer. By then he was a father with family obligations, so he looked for something close to his home in Paducah. West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) offered him the opportunity to get the first two years of a four-year chemical engineering degree.

After attending WKCTC, Beirut was accepted in the chemical engineering program at the University of Kentucky's College of Engineering, Paducah campus. He was the first recipient of the USEC-sponsored Charlie Hicks Engineering Scholarship. He will be able to complete his educational goal without leaving Paducah and with, he said, "more confidence and a sense of accomplishment."

With hard work and determination, Beirut has taken control of his future. So can you.

Carltez Hampton
Carltez Hampton
Owensboro
Carltez Hampton

Carltez Hampton

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Carltez Hampton graduated from Owensboro Community and Technical College with an associate degree, but went on to earn his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from WKU. "I have a job that lets me help others make better choices than I did. I've gone from sitting on the sidelines to playing the game. Heck, some might say now I even get to coach. Anything is possible with education and hard work."

Carltez was promoted from Maintenance Manager at the Neblett Center to the Assistant Director of the H.L. Neblett Daycare Center.

With hard work and determination, Carltez made it. So can you.

Charlene Faye Turner Walker
Charlene Faye Turner Walker
Hazard
Charlene Faye Turner Walker

Charlene Faye Turner Walker

Hazard Community and Technical College

Charlene Faye Turner Walker is the current vice-president of multiculturalism and inclusion at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. She began her higher education journey at Hazard Community and Technical College and transferred to Eastern Kentucky University where she received a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree in counseling. She has also done post graduate work in women's studies and appalachian studies from the University of Kentucky and diversity management course work from Cornell University in New York, NY.

Prior to becoming involved in academia, Charlene was employed in Hazard as a social worker with Family and Protective Services and as a physical planner providing technical assistance to local governments in the Kentucky River Area Development District.

Charlene has served numerous civic and community organizations including chair of the National Conference for Community and Justice. She is also the founder and director of Carnegie Hall, a STEM camp for high school juniors and seniors from the burgeoning population, and an alumnus of Leadership Bluegrass and Leadership Kentucky. Charlene resides in Lexington and is the mother of two adult children; Carmen and Colby Combs, and the grandmother of two grandsons; Camdyn and Cadyn.

Charlotte Davis
Charlotte Davis
Elizabethtown
Charlotte Davis

Charlotte Davis

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

One credential from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) was simply not enough for Charlotte Davis. Twelve years after earning a diploma in accounting, she completed an associate degree in medical office technology. A believer in lifelong learning she went on to earn a bachelor's degree last year in applied technology from Western Kentucky University and is currently pursuing a master's degree in mental health counseling.

Charlotte serves as director of human resources for Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health Systems in Radcliff. She is a member of the Elizabethtown Society of Human Resources Managers and the Leadership Elizabethtown Alumni Association.

Charlotte believes in giving back to her community. She has served as an ambassador for the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, site coordinator for the United Way, volunteer leader for the Fund for the Arts, and treasurer and youth bus ministry coordinator for the Hodgenville Church of God of Prophecy.

For the past 16 years, she has served ECTC as a member of the business technology program advisory committee.

Clifton Scott
Clifton Scott
Maysville
Clifton Scott

Clifton Scott

Maysville Community and Technical College

Clifton Scott grew up in Mayslick, Kentucky. While working full-time at Dayton Power & Light, he pursued his education at Maysville Community and Technical College and earned three associate of applied science degrees. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing from Morehead State University in 1990 and a master's degree in healthcare administration from Xavier University.

Mr. Scott held various administrator positions at Michigan Health Care Corporation, Children's Hospital of Michigan and the Henry Ford Health System. He was also an adjunct faculty for two years at Davenport University in Dearborn, Michigan, teaching in their health management program.

Today he is the administrator of clinical operations in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

With hard work and determination Clifton made it. So can you.

Dr. Edna Thomas
Dr. Edna Thomas
Maysville
Dr. Edna Thomas

Dr. Edna Thomas

Maysville Community and Technical College

Dr. Edna Thomas was in the first graduating class of Maysville Community and Technical College in 1970. She received her bachelor's degree from Ohio Dominican College in 1984, a master's degree from The Ohio State University in 1992, and a doctoral degree in philosophy from The Ohio State University in 1999.

Dr. Thomas has been employed with Columbus Public Schools for the past 26 years as a classroom teacher, Title 1 Reading teacher, curriculum facilitator and professional development facilitator. She is currently responsible for all of the professional development for teachers and administrators in six schools who are involved in the Teacher Advancement Program with Columbus City Schools. She is also a professor of records at The Ohio State University for Columbus City Schools, as well as an adjunct faculty member of Ashland University, in Columbus, Ohio.

Ernie Simmons
Ernie Simmons
Hopkinsville
Ernie Simmons

Ernie Simmons

Hopkinsville Community College

Ernie Simmons graduated from Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) with an associate in arts degree in May 2010. During the commencement ceremony, Ernie was awarded the "Spirit Cup" and named the outstanding HCC graduate. After graduation, he transferred to Western Kentucky University to pursue a bachelor's degree, with plans of becoming a high school science teacher.

"It's all about education — trying to make my life better."

Gary Hunter
Gary Hunter
Big Sandy
Gary Hunter

Gary Hunter

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Gary Hunter graduated from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) in May 2009 with an applied Science degree and a diploma in electronics, electricity, robotics and electrical technology.

While at BSCTC, Gary maintained a 4.0 GPA and was on the President's List and Dean's list each semester. On June 12, 2009, he was among 32 of Kentucky's top community college students to be honored as members of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System's 2009 All-Academic Team. In addition to making the All-Academic Team, Gary also received the 2009 All Student Academic Achievement Award.

Gary is a proud father of twin girls and a son. He currently resides in Pikeville, KY.

George Henderson
George Henderson
Owensboro
George Henderson

George Henderson

Owensboro Community and Technical College

George Henderson graduated from Owensboro Community and Technical College with associate degrees in accounting and business, as well as a minor in computer science. He continued his education, earning a bachelor's degree in computer science from Kentucky Wesleyan College and an MBA in technology management from the University of Phoenix.

"I was a non-traditional student. I was coming out of the workforce, caught in a layoff, and did not have a job. I thought the best thing for me to do was to go back and complete my education."

George began his career at UniFirst as a computer programmer and now serves as their quality manager. He is a member of the Owensboro Community and Technical College Board of Directors and the Owensboro Medical Health System.

James Barue Wilson, II
James Barue Wilson, II
Bluegrass
James Barue Wilson, II

James Barue Wilson, II

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

James Barue Wilson graduated from Lexington Community College (now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College) in 1999 with an associate degree. He continued his education, earning his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications at the University of Kentucky and his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

After completion of his bachelor's degree he was hired by AT&T where he held multiple positions before accepting his latest position as Executive Manager of Escalation & Resolution. James's five year plan includes earning his law degree, establishing a real estate company and running for the U.S. Senate.

With hard work and determination, Barue Wilson made it. So can you.

John L. Perkins
John L. Perkins
Somerset
John L. Perkins

John L. Perkins

Somerset Community College

John L. Perkins, lifelong resident of Pulaski County, is well-known to most people in our city and county. He was educated in the Somerset City Schools and is a graduate of Somerset Community College (SCC).

Mr. Perkins began his career as a mail carrier and was later promoted to the Somerset Postmaster where he served the citizens of this area for many years. Upon retirement, Mr. Perkins became a private business entrepreneur when he opened, owned, and operated, along with his family, the Johnny B's Restaurant — the best barbeque in the south!

A firm believer in the importance of education he has served on both the Somerset Board of Education and the Somerset Community College Board of Directors. During his tenure on SCC's board he led the community-wide effort to recognize former Somerset resident, Robert Todd Duncan, a world-renowned star of opera and Broadway, who broke down segregation barriers around the world in the 1930's. His effort resulted in Mr. Duncan's induction into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame, and the Wall of Great Black Kentuckians.

Jonathon Wilson
Jonathon Wilson
Somerset
Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon Wilson

Somerset Community College

Jonathon Wilson a native of Somerset, Kentucky, Jonathon Wilson followed his dream of many years. After graduating from Somerset High School, he enlisted in the United States Army and underwent training that resulted in his becoming a Military Police Officer with specialized Airborne Training. This path led him to accept deployments to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo; the Pentagon; and to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan — all in his first stint in the service.

When Jonathon returned from service to Somerset, he immediately enrolled in Somerset Community College where he earned two Associate Degrees, one in Applied Science, and one in Criminal Justice. He also served Somerset Community College as its first Safety and Security Coordinator, responsible for safety and security for all six College sites.

As a transfer student, Eastern Kentucky University was his next location where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Police Studies and a minor in Psychology. There he was inducted into the Criminal Justice professional fraternity of Lambda Alpha Epsilon Chapter Lambda Omicron Pi.

Wilson briefly served in the U.S. Marshall Service in Washington, DC, and immediately followed this service as an Officer in the U.S. Army. He currently serves our country in Afghanistan and plans to return to Fort Knox, Kentucky in the near future. Following his enrollment and completion of degrees at Somerset Community College, Wilson made a successful transition to life. His life was transformed by his education in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Lawrence White
Lawrence White
Southcentral
Lawrence White

Lawrence White

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Lawrence White was born in the Delafield community of Bowling Green, one of 13 children of Mattie and the late Ollie White. He graduated from Warren Central High School in 1979 and decided to take technical classes in auto mechanics at what was then called Bowling Green State Vocational School, now Bowling Green Technical College.

"My training at the school gave me a solid foundation for employment and put me on the path for a successful career," said White. "After graduation I went directly to work for the Bowling Green City Service Center and Quick Lincoln-Mercury Auto Dealership."

White left the auto dealership to accept a position with Monarch Environmental where he worked as operations manager until 1999. White then became co-owner of Scott Waste Services and was vice president and general manager serving 12 counties and 55,000 customers across the state. White and his partners sold Scott Waste Services to Waste Connections in 2004 and he became District Manager, overseeing three districts and managed three offices. He resigned from Waste Connections in 2008 and he is currently a managing consultant with an environmental consulting firm.

In addition to a successful career, White has assisted the community by serving on the following boards: Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Human Rights Commission Board, Boy and Girls Clubs of America Board, Kiwanis Club and South Central Minority Economic Development Council. White currently serves as a member of Black Men United and the West Side Camp.

With determination and support, Lawrence established a successful career path. So can you.

Marlisa R. Austin
Marlisa R. Austin
Southeast
Marlisa R. Austin

Marlisa R. Austin

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

Marlisa R. Austin is a professor of English and humanities division chair at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville. She has been teaching within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) for 17 years.

Marlisa obtained an associate of arts degree from Southeast Community College (now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College), a bachelor's degree in secondary English education from the University of Kentucky, and a master's degree in English education from Union College.

Her professional endeavors include presentations at KCTCS' New Horizons Conference (past six years), Kentucky Association for Developmental Education (KADE), National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) and NISOD. In addition, Marlisa has served as secretary, president-elect, president and conference chair of KADE, conference local arrangements chair of the 2008 Two-Year College English Association-Southeast Region Conference and the current corresponding secretary/conference co-chair of the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education (KABHE).

Marlisa is a graduate of the 2007-2008 KCTCS President's Leadership Seminar, and has been published in the Two-Year College English Journal. She has also been recognized in Who's Who Among America's Teachers for 2002 and 2006. Marlisa was awarded the 2006 KCTCS New Horizons Award of Excellence for Faculty and the 2008 Acorn Award for excellence in teaching in Kentucky.

Marlisa continues to succeed and inspire others. So can you.

Melinda Roberson
Melinda Roberson
West Kentucky
Melinda Roberson

Melinda Roberson

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Melinda Roberson graduated from West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) with an associate degree in science and a certificate as a data entry operator.

A 1999 Paducah Tilghman High School graduate, she experienced hard times in her life before deciding to enroll at WKCTC. As single parent, Roberson worked a fulltime job to support her family while going to college.

At 26, Roberson became marketing director of Chick-fil-A in Paducah. She is now a patient access specialist in the emergency room at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and is working on her MBA with an emphasis in human resource administration at Georgia State University's Keller School in Atlanta, GA.

With hard work and determination, Melinda made it. So can you.

Michelle Tutt Schlager
Michelle Tutt Schlager
Henderson
Michelle Tutt Schlager

Michelle Tutt Schlager

Henderson Community College

Michelle Tutt Schlager graduated from Henderson Community College (HCC) with an associate's degree in nursing and from Union College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and English. After graduation from HCC, she moved to Ohio, to work as a registered nurse at Fort Hamilton Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio. Two years later she accepted her current position at Mercy Hospital working in the obstetrics and neonatal area.

Michelle credits much of her success to the warmth, openness and commitment to excellence of HCC's faculty and staff. She says, "My professors expected perfection, punctuality, professionalism, and strong study skills... but at the same time they showered all the students with compassion, empathy and understanding for that little thing called "life" that often gets in the way and never makes things easy."

Miriam Teresa Porter
Miriam Teresa Porter
Bluegrass
Miriam Teresa Porter

Miriam Teresa Porter

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Miriam Teresa Porter graduated from Marion County High School in 1985 and enrolled in Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC - formerly Lexington Community College) shortly thereafter. She later transferred to the University of Kentucky (UK)where she obtained a bachelor of science in health administration in 1989; the first female African-American, Kentucky native, to graduate from this program.

After graduating from UK she decided to enroll again at BCTC to pursue additional technical degrees. In 1992 she graduated with an associate of applied science in computer information systems, and followed in 1993 with an associate degree of applied science in nuclear medicine technology. During her second collegiate endeavor, she served terms as both the president of the Student Union, as well as the president of the Black Student Union. In 1993, she was the first African-American female from Kentucky to graduate and be licensed in the field of nuclear medicine technology.

In 2006 she relocated to Arizona where she is currently the Coordinator of the Nuclear Medicine Department at St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson. Throughout her professional career she has been very active in leadership roles on the national, regional and local levels of a number of nuclear medicine societies including, serving as president of the Arizona Nuclear Medicine Society.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.
System Office
Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

Porter G. Peeples, Sr.

System Office

Porter G. Peeples, Sr., is the chairman of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents. He is a graduate of the former Southeast Community College (now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College) and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor of arts in elementary and special education. For the past 42 years Mr. Peeples has served as the President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League.

Over the years, Peeples has helped others by raising money, finding people jobs and helping them with affordable housing. He still believes in the value of hard work and education he learned at an early age, and said preparing for success should always be a goal for students.

Peeples was appointed in August 2006 by then Gov. Ernie Fletcher to serve a six-year term on the KCTCS Board of Regents. In 2009, he was elected to serve a two-year term as KCTCS board secretary and as a board vice chair in 2010. His new chair position will expire in June 2013. He is the fifth person to serve in this role.

Shannan Mason
Shannan Mason
Madisonville
Shannan Mason

Shannan Mason

Madisonville Community College

Shannan Mason graduated from Madisonville Community College with an associate in arts degree, and continued her education at Murray State University. At Murray, she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary and special education.

Shannan is currently employed at the Hopkins County Board of Education and is working on a master's degree in teacher leadership and counseling.

With hard work and determination, Shannan made it. So can you.

Tynea Harris
Tynea Harris
Gateway
Tynea Harris

Tynea Harris

Gateway Community and Technical College

Tynea Harris graduated from Gateway Community and Technical College in the spring of 2010 with an associate in arts degree. Tynea was no stranger to Gateway when she enrolled; she had previously worked at the college as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Tynea has enjoyed her years at Gateway so much she now works at the college in the adult education program, and she is continuing to take classes, this time in business administration. Her ultimate goal is to work in the human services field.

These days, Tynea spends much of her time encouraging students to follow a path similar to hers. As an administrative assistant, she encourages adult students to work toward earning a GED and continuing their education.

It's a formula for success that is working for Tynea. It can work for you, too.

V. Ann Newman
V. Ann Newman
Ashland
V. Ann Newman

V. Ann Newman

Ashland Community and Technical College

V. Ann Newman was appointed by the governor as a board member for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, representing the 7th Supreme Court District, and also a board member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission in Frankfort.

Ann began taking classes at ACC in the early 1980s, where she went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree at Ohio University-Southern Campus, and in 2010 she completed her Master's Degree from Ashford University. She is Vice President of Compliance and Internal Controls at Ashland Credit Union and serves the community in several offices: President of the Boyd and Greenup County Branch, Secretary and Auditor of the Kentucky State Conference of the NAACP. She is a board member of FIVCO, board member of Boyd County Cooperative Extension Service, and treasurer, usher and trustee of New Hope Baptist Church. She was recently appointed to the diversity council for Ohio University and ACTC.

Ann is also the President and CEO of Newman and Associates Consulting, LLC, a firm providing diversity and business training, image and agent consulting services. With hard work and determination, she succeeded. And, so can you.

William H. Turner
William H. Turner
Southeast
William H. Turner

William H. Turner

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

William H. Turner is currently Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Studies & Regional Ambassador at Berea College. Born and raised in a large coal mining family in Lynch (Harlan County, KY) Bill was awarded an Associates of Arts degree from Southeast Community College (1966), the Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky (1968) and the doctorate in sociology and anthropology from Notre Dame University (1974).

Bill was the first to combine interests in the fields of African-American (AAS) and Appalachian Studies, having been the first Director of AAS at Notre Dame (1969) and publishing a book titled simply Blacks in Appalachia (1985). Appointed (Visiting) Goode Professor of Black & Appalachian Studies at Berea (1988), Turner has held teaching positions at Fisk and Howard universities and administrative positions at Kentucky State University (Dean and Interim President) and Vice President at the University of Kentucky. Among the many honors Bill has received throughout his illustrious career, in 2009, the Appalachian Studies Association (ASA) honored him for a lifetime of service to the Appalachian region with its Cratis D. Williams/James S. Brown Service Award. The Christian Appalachian Project recognized Turner as its Citizen of the Year in 1994. In 2006, he was inducted as a Notre Dame Black Exemplar; and, in 2007, he was honored with the State of Kentucky's Dr. Martin Luther King Citizen's Award. Turner was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in September 2007.

Click a campus on the map to see the events in that area!

System Office
First Baptist Church
233 South Main Street
Versailles, KY
10:30 AM
Dr. Floyd Greene
First Baptist Church Bracktown
3016 Bracktown Road
Lexington, KY
10:15 AM
Dr. C.B. Akins
The Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church
540 W. Maxwell Street
Lexington, KY
9:30 AM
Rev. T. H. Peoples, Jr.
Ashland Community and Technical College
Christ Temple Church
2601 Lexington Ave
Ashland, KY
12:00 PM Noon
Pastor Calvin Bradley
College Fair: 1:30 PM
Big Sandy Community and Technical College
Church of God MPG of T - Host Church
Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church (partnering)
117 Redale Road
Pikeville, KY
12:00 PM Noon
Pastor Sandra Layne
Rev. Steve Peake
College Fair: 1:30 PM
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Consolidated Baptist Church
Includes Latino Service
1625 Russell Cave Road
Lexington, KY
11:00 AM
Pastor Richard Gaines
Pastor Vincent Rivera
First Baptist Winchester
37 North Highland Ave
Winchester, KY
11:00 AM
Pastor Marvin King
First African Baptist Church
465 Price Road
Lexington, KY
11:00 AM
Pastor Nathl Moore
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
Restoration Worship Center
640 Olivia Road
Radcliff, KY
11:30 AM
Apostle Carl Smalls, Sr.
Gateway Community and Technical College
First Baptist Church
1973 Morningside Drive
Florence, KY
Pastor Norman Blankenship
Centro de Amistad
10136 Dixie Highway
Florence, KY
Sr. Juana Mendez
Hazard Community and Technical College
Consolidated Baptist Church
180 Winterberry Street
Hazard, KY
11:00 AM
Pastor Lowell D. Parker
Henderson Community College
Love Temple Church of God in Christ
1514 Bailey Street
Henderson, KY
11:00 AM
Pastor-Elder Harlan Armstead
Greater Norris Chapel Baptist Church
937 Washington Street
Henderson, KY
11:00 AM
Rev. Charles E. Johnson
New Jerusalem Baptist Church
450 Fagan Street
Henderson, KY
11:00 AM
Rev. Robert L. Whitlock
First Missionary Baptist Church
20 S. Elm Street
Henderson, KY
11:00 AM
Rev. Robert Esters
Seventh Street Baptist Church
627 Short 7th Street
Henderson, KY
10:30 AM
Dr. Anthony M. Brooks, Sr.
Simpson Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church
301 N. Finley Ave.
Providence, KY
2:00 PM
Pastor Bobby Hawkins
Hopkinsville Community College
Virginia Street Baptist Church
210 South Virginia Street
Hopkinsville, KY
11:00 AM
Rev. M.O. Fort
Jefferson Community and Technical College
New Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Shelbyville, KY
Community Development Center (Mulberry Building)
701 Main Street, Shelbyville, KY 40065
11:30 AM
Rev. Dr. Kilen K. Gray
First Gethsemane Baptist Church
1159 Algonquin Parkway
Louisville, KY
9:00 AM
Dr. T. Vaughn Walker
Madisonville Community College
Branch Street Church of God in Christ
445 Branch Street
Madisonville, KY
2:00 PM
Elder Kenneth Walker
Ebenezer Baptist Church
411 North 1st Street
Central City, KY
2:00 PM
Rev. Otis Cunningham
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church
307 Tramway Street
Earlington, KY
2:00 PM
Rev. Demetrius Russel
Simpson Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church
301 N. Finley Ave.
Providence, KY
2:00 PM
Rev. Bobby Hawkins
Shepherd Street Baptist Church
500 West Green Street
Princeton, KY
2:00 PM
Rev. James Brasher
Maysville Community and Technical College
Bethel Baptist Church
501 Forest Ave
Maysville, KY
1:00 PM
Pastor Terence Taylor
College Fair 2:30 PM
Macedonia Baptist Church
103 East Pearl Street
Cynthiana, KY
11:00 AM
Pastor Anthony Stevenson
College Fair 9:00 AM
Owensboro Community and Technical College
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
50 Plum Street
Owensboro, KY
10:45 AM
College Fair 12:30 PM
Somerset Community College
South Maple Street First Baptist Church
309 S. Maple Street
Somerset, KY
11:00 AM
College Fair 12:30 PM
St. John AME Church
111 High Street
Monticello, KY
11:00 AM
College Fair 12:30 PM
Outreach for Jesus (Hispanic Service)
163 Cotter Avenue
Somerset, KY
10:30 AM
College Fair 12:30 PM
St. Mildred's Church (Hispanic Service)
203 S. Central Avenue
Monticello, KY
2:00 PM
College Fair 3:00 PM
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College
State Street Baptist Church
340 State Street
Bowling Green, KY
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Recruitment event and reception immediately following.
Rev. Freddie Brown
Trinity Full Gospel Baptist Church
200 Center Street
Bowling Green, KY
10:45 AM - 12:30 PM
Recruitment event and reception immediately following.
Dr. Stacy Beason
St. Joseph's Catholic Church (February 27)
434 Church Street
Bowling Green, KY
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Recruitment event and reception immediately following.
 
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
Greater Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
409 First St.
Lynch, KY
11:00 AM
Rev. Ronnie Hampton
College Fair 1:30 PM
West Kentucky Community and Technical College
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
5645 Blandville Road
Paducah, KY
1:00 PM
Father Jason McClure
Father Brad Whistle