Seventy-five students pursuing associate degrees at Trident Technical College received a financial boost recently through Accelerate Greater Charleston (AGC) Scholarships from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
The scholarships, which include two full years of tuition as well as fees and books, were presented to the students on May 10 at an awards ceremony. Trident Technical College offers degrees in such high-demand areas as science, technology, engineering, business, information technology, culinary and hospitality and health sciences.
The AGC Scholarships were first awarded in 2014 when 12 students were recipients. To date, 102 AGC Scholarships have been awarded — an investment of more than $330,000. The scholarships are awarded to Career Academy graduates carrying grade point averages of 2.0 to 2.9 — students who do not qualify for the state lottery tuition assistance and typically cannot afford to pay college expenses on their own.
“These scholarships represent opportunity," Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bryan Derreberry. "An opportunity to gain the skills necessary to pursue a career in a high demand field, ensuring a secure future. With the Charleston metro gaining 20,000 new jobs in the next two years, they also serve as an opportunity for our region to develop local talent, producing and retaining the workforce needed for our ever growing job pool.”
Eleven scholarship recipients attended R.B. Stall High School. The school's principal, Kim Wilson, said the funding would "change their lives forever."
"They would never have this opportunity if it was not for our business partners, the community, the Charleston Metro Chamber and Trident Tech," Wilson said.
The AGC Scholarships are funded through Accelerate Greater Charleston, the Chamber’s five-year regional investment strategy to accelerate progress and achievements in Talent, Innovation and Advocacy. The scholarships are also supported by the Scientific Reseatrch Corp. (SRC).
“SRC serves as an Academy Partner for several reasons, one of which is because I believe there is an under utilized equity in Charleston in the student population, an under utilized resource in our community," SRC EVP James Ward said. “We need to make sure that we aren’t just moving people here to partake in our careers. Let’s help our students see that they can have a career in cyber engineering, a career that they never imagined.”