Monthly Archives: December 2013

NCC Announces Fall Semester Academic Honors


Nash Community College is proud to announce that the following students achieved academic honors during the 2013 Fall Semester. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must earn a perfect 4.0 grade point average (all A’s) while taking 12 or more semester hours. Students who qualify for the Honor Roll must earn a grade point average of 3.3 or above and be enrolled in 12 or more semester hours.

Dean’s List
Courtney Barbour of Bailey
Christian Blackwell of Bailey
Ashley Glover of Bailey
Ismael Gomez of Bailey
Margaret Gray of Bailey
Rebekah Lee of Bailey
Krystal Pridgen of Bailey
Taylor Riley of Bailey
Debora Parker of Battleboro
Judie Taylor of Battleboro
Diamond Bartlett of Broadway
Nicole Stanley of Bunn
Sarah Alford of Elm City
Krystal Driver of Elm City
Randy Driver of Elm City
Karla Flores of Elm City
Clay Hamilton of Elm City
Alliyah Richardson of Elm City
Whitley Wilson of Elm City
Abeshay Harrison of Enfield
Calvin Robinson of Enfield
Lashonda Caine of Garysburg
Terri Strickland of Grimesland
Allen Lynch of Hollister
Tanner Braswell of Kenly
Megan Hope Ezzell of Littleton
Arvis Rainey of Littleton
Anna Inscoe of Louisburg
Lilia Martinez of Louisburg
Yakira Perry of Louisburg
Tammy Rochester of Louisburg
Tamra Snelling of Louisburg
Hailey Stamper of Louisburg
Brianna Gold of Middlesex
Brittany Sasser of Middlesex
Dana Baker of Nashville
Dustin Barefoot of Nashville
Chandler Bass of Nashville
Matthew Bergenn of Nashville
Whitney Briggs of Nashville
Jamie Clements of Nashville
Heather Davis of Nashville
Allison Edwards of Nashville
Phillip Greco of Nashville
Tyler Hunter of Nashville
Anabela Pardo of Nashville
Zachary Parker of Nashville
Timothy Peck of Nashville
June Pittman of Nashville
Johnie Pugh of Nashville
Latasha Richardson of Nashville
Brandon Rowe of Nashville
James Simpson of Nashville
Emily Smith of Nashville
Anastasia Stillings of Nashville
Christina Walters of Nashville
Melissa Walton of Nashville
Monica Walton of Nashville
Tammy Whitehead of Nashville
Daniel Wrenn of Nashville
Brooklynn Newberry of Pinetops
Gwendolyn Harrison of Raleigh
Suzanne Marrone of Raleigh
Melanie Schafer of Raleigh
Amanda Myers of Red Oak
Deanna Al-Hammori of Rocky Mount
Olvette Arrington of Rocky Mount
Spencer Bailey of Rocky Mount
Karen Baker of Rocky Mount
Tracy Batchelor of Rocky Mount
Norman Becker of Rocky Mount
Anna Bindrim of Rocky Mount
Michael Bolton of Rocky Mount
Mary Brown of Rocky Mount
Clay Connolly of Rocky Mount
Robyn Covington of Rocky Mount
Chelsea Crocker of Rocky Mount
Deshawn Dazevedo of Rocky Mount
Roy Faircloth of Rocky Mount
Alex Ferguson of Rocky Mount
Jacob Ferry of Rocky Mount
Ana Frias of Rocky Mount
Kevin Gaidurgis of Rocky Mount
William Gantt of Rocky Mount
Tiffany Garrett of Rocky Mount
Nichole Garrett of Rocky Mount
William Geanes of Rocky Mount
Gregory Grogan of Rocky Mount
Theresa Hall of Rocky Mount
Randy Johnson of Rocky Mount
Senatra Jones of Rocky Mount
Justin Jones of Rocky Mount
Erica Kettelson of Rocky Mount
Katie Lewis of Rocky Mount
Chris Liv of Rocky Mount
Douglas Lynch of Rocky Mount
Matthew Masney of Rocky Mount
Jamilla McKnight of Rocky Mount
Rashaun McMillan of Rocky Mount
Teaqula Moore of Rocky Mount
Keisha Nowell of Rocky Mount
William Outlaw of Rocky Mount
Joseph Parks of Rocky Mount
Tyquarius Pittman of Rocky Mount
Amy Roe of Rocky Mount
Melinda Romero of Rocky Mount
Rachel Ross of Rocky Mount
Frederick Sanderson of Rocky Mount
Takisha Silver of Rocky Mount
Ryan Spivey of Rocky Mount
Mark Taylor of Rocky Mount
Melanie Wall of Rocky Mount
David Wittman of Rocky Mount
Nathan Brindle of Spring Hope
Alyse Hall of Spring Hope
Eric Rauen of Spring Hope
Tammy Winstead of Spring Hope
Karrie Scott of Tarboro
Dustin Siemers of Wake Forest
Ashley Charles of Wendell
Kirk Osteen of Wendell
Melissa Cooke of Whitakers
Heather Harduk of Whitakers
Cerita Mattison of Whitakers
Graham Taylor of Whitakers
Courtney Carraway of Wilson
James Davis of Wilson
Edward Fulghum of Wilson
Melissa Herbert of Wilson
Angela Lievense of Wilson
Taylor Moore of Wilson
Tabitha Crawford of Youngsville
Terry Perry of Youngsville
Karen Armstrong of Zebulon
Jessica Avila of Zebulon
James Champion of Zebulon
Christopher Reynolds of Zebulon
William Richardson of Zebulon

Honor Roll

Bethany Barnes of Bailey
Austin Fennell of Bailey
Meredith Glover of Bailey
Daniel Gomez of Bailey
Elizabeth Hernandez of Bailey
Jullian Hyatt of Bailey
Joshua Lee of Bailey
Stuart Prince of Bailey
Leah Riddell of Bailey
Benjamin Sherrod of Bailey
Alan Babineau of Battleboro
Unique Bailey of Battleboro
Taylor Bowman of Battleboro
Tiara Crews of Battleboro
Jeffrey Edgerton of Battleboro
Heather Godfrey of Battleboro
Amy Little of Battleboro
Becky Schaberg of Battleboro
Ashlynn Tisdale of Battleboro
Erica Wright of Battleboro
Ervin Catlett of Castalia
Nicki Alexander of Elm City
Michele Baldetti of Elm City
Kody Banks of Elm City
Summer Carter of Elm City
Nolan Farmer of Elm City
Chelsea Gaston of Elm City
Mariah Gray of Elm City
Austin Holcombe of Elm City
Sandra Lucas of Elm City
Tevin Nicholson of Elm City
Mary Norton of Elm City
Yahia Seidi of Elm City
Devonte Alston of Enfield
Rebecca Carlisle of Enfield
Nathan Mills of Enfield
Lakesha Powell of Enfield
Monique Richardson of Enfield
Troy Cruz of Gaston
Stephen Tart of Goldsboro
Elizabeth Langley of Halifax
Andrea Eaves of Henderson
Ceicley Lynch of Hollister
Stephanie Richardson of Hollister
Rolonda Richardson of Hollister
Evan Wagensomer of Jackson
Tommy Arrington of Littleton
Haley Bostic of Louisburg
Robin Highfill of Louisburg
Erica King of Louisburg
Sean Mimnaugh of Louisburg
Katie Rogers of Louisburg
Lydia Stallings of Louisburg
Brittany Willoughby of Lucama
Jonathan Noble of Lumberton
Robin Osten of Macclesfield
Dina Chrobot of Middlesex
Gregory Ellington of Middlesex
Jasmine Safforld of Middlesex
Whitney Quinn of Mount Olive
Rachel Baines of Nashville
Clayton Baker of Nashville
Jonathan Brown of Nashville
Malik Darden of Nashville
Joseph Davis of Nashville
David Dugas of Nashville
Candice Evans of Nashville
Shannon Ferrell of Nashville
Touche Foster of Nashville
Rebecca Giese of Nashville
Lauren Gosselin of Nashville
Chasity Harrison of Nashville
Stephanie Lane of Nashville
Clyde Little of Nashville
Xavier Moody of Nashville
Carla Moore of Nashville
Lisa Norville of Nashville
Derek Quirk of Nashville
Durwood Radford of Nashville
Tammy Slavin of Nashville
Kandace Summerlin of Nashville
Sarah Webb of Nashville
Kara Wood of Nashville
Tameka Wright of Nashville
Christopher Manning of Pinetops
Kristen Sampson of Raleigh
Billy Vick of Red Oak
Erica Harrison of Roanoke Rapids
Janicia Rover of Roanoke Rapids
Jason Shaw of Roanoke Rapids
Ah’shawntee Allen of Rocky Mount
Nashum Allen of Rocky Mount
Jeffery Alston of Rocky Mount
James Anderson of Rocky Mount
Lynette Atkinson of Rocky Mount
Jose Baez Morales of Rocky Mount
Pamela Bailey of Rocky Mount
Alexander Biggs of Rocky Mount
Stephen Bishop of Rocky Mount
Frank Bookhardt of Rocky Mount
Christopher Booth of Rocky Mount
Roni Bost of Rocky Mount
Taylor Braziel of Rocky Mount
Teresa Brooks of Rocky Mount
Kamiah Brooks of Rocky Mount
Passion Brown of Rocky Mount
Tyrell Buffaloe of Rocky Mount
Shiloh Burch of Rocky Mount
Edgar Burton of Rocky Mount
Ashley Burwell of Rocky Mount
Gregory Carroll of Rocky Mount
Lawrence Cockrell of Rocky Mount
Jodi Colbert of Rocky Mount
Kristen Colbert of Rocky Mount
Elizabeth Cook of Rocky Mount
Michelle Daughtridge of Rocky Mount
Donntae Davis of Rocky Mount
Christian Davis of Rocky Mount
Andrea Dickens of Rocky Mount
Dane Druckenbrod of Rocky Mount
Shonlel Evans of Rocky Mount
Francois Farge of Rocky Mount
Moneca Ferguson of Rocky Mount
Sarah Frazier of Rocky Mount
Erika Garrett of Rocky Mount
Christian Grant of Rocky Mount
Bridget Greene of Rocky Mount
Gretchen Harris of Rocky Mount
Kelly Harris of Rocky Mount
Juvonya Hart of Rocky Mount
Joel Hernandez of Rocky Mount
Kimberly Jones of Rocky Mount
Heather Jones of Rocky Mount
Joshua Joyner of Rocky Mount
Allyssa Joyner of Rocky Mount
Joshua Joyner of Rocky Mount
Spencer Joyner of Rocky Mount
Stephen Kinney of Rocky Mount
Ashley Knight of Rocky Mount
Telly LaFranque of Rocky Mount
Elizabeth Landen of Rocky Mount
Darryl Lyle of Rocky Mount
Jeremy Marlow of Rocky Mount
James Martin of Rocky Mount
Brittany Mayo of Rocky Mount
Lancy McDowell of Rocky Mount
Cassandra Meade of Rocky Mount
Christopher Mercer of Rocky Mount
Kathleen Moody of Rocky Mount
Melissa Moore of Rocky Mount
John Moore of Rocky Mount
Samaher Odeh of Rocky Mount
Aimee Pendergrass of Rocky Mount
Julius Powell of Rocky Mount
Bailee Richardson of Rocky Mount
Alayna Schmidt of Rocky Mount
Chad Shehdan of Rocky Mount
Celeste Sykes of Rocky Mount
April Taylor of Rocky Mount
Brittany Thorne of Rocky Mount
Justin Vaughn of Rocky Mount
Cooper Voutsas of Rocky Mount
Chase Walthall of Rocky Mount
David Watts of Rocky Mount
Brendan Weir of Rocky Mount
Stephanie Wilder of Rocky Mount
Morgan Willcox of Rocky Mount
Tammy Williams of Rocky Mount
Derek Wright of Rocky Mount
Shannon Young of Rocky Mount
Zandher Yucor of Rocky Mount
James Thompson of Scotland Neck
Gloria Darden of Seaboard
Shana Bunn of Sharpsburg
Brittney Marvel of Sharpsburg
Crystal Pullen of Sharpsburg
Samantha Corn of Sims
Andrew Glover of Sims
Daphne Bell of Spring Hope
Rafael Benitez Samano of Spring Hope
Daniel Boykin of Spring Hope
Michael Brinkley of Spring Hope
Dawn Davis of Spring Hope
Gail Ellis of Spring Hope
Cindy Harrison of Spring Hope
Carrie Medlin of Spring Hope
Tyler Mills of Spring Hope
Phillip Pace of Spring Hope
Miguel Salinas of Spring Hope
Alecia Smith of Spring Hope
Sharon Stokes of Spring Hope
Matthew Tyson of Spring Hope
Kadijah Wright of Spring Hope
Dorian Branch of Tarboro
Desiree Dolberry of Tarboro
Evangeline Draughn of Tarboro
Megan Morris of Tarboro
Angelia Woodard of Tarboro
Crystal Gates of Wake Forest
Elizabeth Hoppe of Wake Forest
Tasha Birth of Wendell
Ann Thomas of Wendell
Tracy Boddie of Whitakers
Harold Bryant of Whitakers
Jalyn Jones of Whitakers
Pamela Parks of Whitakers
Dustin Sweet of Whitakers
Casey Wall of Whitakers
Christina Bottoms of Wilson
Emily Day of Wilson
Karina Denton of Wilson
Paige Francois of Wilson
Stillman Heath of Wilson
Kenneth Meador of Wilson
Curtis Morgan of Wilson
Jonathan Price of Wilson
Chantia Stewart of Wilson
Jessica Winstead of Wilson
Connie Bailey of Woodland
Faith Anderson of Zebulon
Julie Brantley of Zebulon
Jordan Daniel of Zebulon
Heather Denton of Zebulon
Westley Driver of Zebulon
Katerina Frazier of Zebulon
Brittany Frazier of Zebulon
Samuel Harris of Zebulon
Rachel Holmstrand of Zebulon
Johnathan Lockleair of Zebulon
Sierra Massey of Zebulon
Zachary Privette of Zebulon
Dylan Webb of Zebulon
Jimmy Young of Zebulon

Williams Named Staff Award Recipient


Debbie Williams of Nashville has been named the 2013 J. Edgar and Peggie T. Moore Staff Award recipient. Williams has served as Nash Community College’s Receptionist and Switchboard Operator since July 2008.

Each day when the College’s doors open to the public, business and industry, Debbie Williams demonstrates her commitment to the college mission by welcoming every individual who enters and directs them to the area of the College that will prepare them for a rewarding future.

The Staff Award is an annual award recognizing the outstanding work ethic of a non-instructional employee at the College. In 2004, J. Edgar and Peggie T. Moore of Rocky Mount established a stipend for the NCC Staff Award acknowledging the achievement of the recipient.

Alumni Association Spotlight: Jamie Clemmons


“I graduated from Nash Community College in 2012 with my Associate’s Degree in nursing. I chose Nash not only for its convenience but for its commitment to my community. Nash Community College has provided my family, friends and neighbors with the opportunity to make their lives better by providing an outstanding and reputable education. With my degree from Nash Community College, I have been able to provide quality nursing care to the community while also finding the career of a lifetime.”

Jamie Sykes Clemmons, RN

Chef Don Shares Holiday Turkey Brine Recipe


To properly brine a turkey you need to start the night before you plan to cook.

You need:

– 10 to 12 hours (or more)
– a container large enough to hold your turkey and enough brine to cover it
– salt, water, seasonings, and enough room to refrigerate it
– a clean trash bag
– The roasting pan you are cooking the turkey in or even a 5 gallon clean plastic bucket would make excellent containers. Whatever container you choose, the turkey needs to have enough room to be turned so it should be big.

The turkey should be cleaned out, completely thawed, and should not be a self-basting or a Kosher turkey. Self-basting and Kosher turkeys have a salty stock added that will make your brined turkey too salty. A fresh turkey works best, but a completely thawed, frozen turkey will work just as well.

To make the brine, mix 1 cup of salt in 1 gallon of water. You will need more than 1 gallon of water but that’s the ratio to aim for. One way of telling if you have enough salt in your brine is that a raw egg will float in it. Make sure that the salt is completely dissolved before adding the seasonings you like, making sure not to add anything that contains salt. Brines can be spicy hot with peppers and cayenne, savory with herbs and garlic, or sweet with molasses, honey and brown sugar. Personally I like pepper corns, thyme, bay leaf and brown sugar. I do half the amount of sugar to salt and 1 tsp each seasoning per cup of salt.

Place the turkey in the trash bag and put it in the container with the top open so you can pour the brine in. Pour in enough brine to completely cover the turkey. Close the bag making sure to get as much air out as you can. You do not want any part of the turkey not in the brine the brine. Now you put the whole thing in the refrigerator. If you are like me, making enough room in the fridge is the hardest part of this project. The turkey should sit in the brine for at least 10 hours. It can process for as much as 24 hours but the turkey will have absorbed all the brine it needs in 10 hours. Brining for too long can ruin the flavor. If you are using a small turkey cut down on the brining time or reduce the amount of salt in the brine

Now, if you don’t have room in the refrigerator, try a cooler or ice chest. A cooler big enough to hold your turkey makes a good container for your turkey and brine. The cooler will help keep it cool and allow you to brine your turkey without taking up precious refrigerator space. If the weather is cool, but not freezing you can put the whole thing outside until you need the turkey. If the weather is warm I put ice in my brine to make up some of the water. Then I fill a half gallon milk carton or something about that size with water and freeze it. Place this in the cooler with the turkey, brine and ice and it will hold down the temperature during the brining process.
When you are ready to start cooking your turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off in the sink with cold water until all traces of salt are off the surface. Safely discard the brine and cook your turkey as normal.
Pat the turkey dry and coat it with salad oil or melted butter. Season with salt, pepper thyme etc, whatever you like on your turkey.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes then turn the temp down to 325 degrees and roast 1 ½ hours for every 10 lbs. If you stuff the turkey you’ll need to cook for 1 hour for every 5 lbs.
Always check the internal temp with a thermometer by stabbing in into the ribs with the thermometer to get the temp along the bone and check the meatiest part of the thigh to see if the juices run clear. You should reach an internal temperature or at least 155 degrees to 165 degrees. Your turkey should be nice and juicy and have a crispy crust.
If the skin starts to get too crispy cover the whole thing with foil.

Alumni Association Spotlight: Alan Davis


“At Nash Community College, I especially appreciated the small class size. I developed numerous professional relationships that are part of my network today. Within a week of graduation, I landed employment within the accounting department of a local manufacturer and have continued to further my career, currently serving as the Assistant Director and Chief Financial Officer for the United Way Tar River Region. I enjoy making a difference in the lives of those in need in our community each day, just like Nash Community College made a difference in my life 25 years ago.” NCC Alumnus Alan Davis

NCC Foundation Awards Scholarships

During a recent ceremony, the Nash Community College Foundation awarded 130 scholarships totaling approximately $150,000. Scholarship recipients recently shared their sentiments of gratitude towards donors in their own words. “I have grown a tremendous amount and have had many opportunities that would have otherwise not been possible without wonderful donors like you,” one student said. Nash Community College is an integral part of the community. An investment in the college is an investment in the citizens and the economic well-being of the Nash – Rocky Mount area.


Another scholarship recipient explained, “I am the first in my family to ever attend college. I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful opportunity.” Donors can take satisfaction from an investment in the community that provides a tangible result, and realize a significant tax and estate planning benefit. For more information about making a contribution, please call (252) 451-8329 or to give online, visit

Park View Nurses to Celebrate Commemorative Anniversary


Next year marks the 100th Commemorative Anniversary of Park View Hospital and the 25thAnniversary of the Park View Nurses’ Alumnae Scholarship Endowment. Park View Hospital opened its doors on July 1, 1914 and closed in May of 1971. In 1914, Park View opened with a 25-bed capacity. For 57 years, Park View Hospital was able to maintain modern facilities and medical equipment. At its closing in 1971, Park View Hospital had 145 beds. Hospital staff witnessed the effects of the 1918 Spanish flu and four wars during its reign as the largest hospital in Rocky Mount.Above, Park View Alumnae Association members gather at the soda fountain at Thompson’s Pharmacy in downtown Rocky Mount to reminisce about their days next door at the School of Nursing across from Park View Hospital. Pictured from left: Louise Riddick, Mary Keene, Eva King, Margaret Bass, Anne Greene, Martha Price, Ernell Edwards, Gayle Hollingsworth, Frances Batchelor, Flora Powell, Carolyn Shearin and Patty Collins.

Alumni Association Spotlight: Elaine Price


“My story began in May of 2001 when the company that had employed me for 26 years closed and I was allowed to attend Nash through the Workforce Investment Act funding and the TAA program. I was 48 years old when I entered college for the first time. While attending Nash I completed three degrees: Information systems, Office Systems and Accounting. Due to the mentorship of my accounting professor, Lee Parker, I applied and was accepted to NC State for the 2004 Fall semester. While at NC State, I worked a co-op with IBM and upon graduation in December 2006 was hired by IBM as a Financial Analyst. On June 2, 2008 I began working for ABB in Cary, NC. During my 5 and 1/2 years with ABB, I have moved through the ranks as a financial analyst, a senior financial analyst, and as a supervisor in the General Accounting department.” Elaine Price, NCC Alumna

Alumni Association Spotlight: Takyla Smith


“As a licensed Insurance Agent, it’s my job to market to individuals, talk to them and understand their needs, provide them with the advice and knowledge they need to make a wise decision. Many of the courses I took at NCC prepared me for this well before I was set on this path,” Takyla Smith, NCC Alumna and MSH Insurance Employee Benefits Consultant shared. “I’d recommend NCC to others because I believe in what NCC stands for. They truly serve our community and as the years have gone by, they have adapted to the needs of the community.”

On Arrogance and Algebra


NCC Alumnus Jenny Braswell

One of two things was going to happen in the next couple of minutes. I was going to pass out and fall out of my chair, or I was going to throw up all over the desk and the test paper in front of me. Half of the homework I had turned in so far had been slightly crumpled by toddler hands or decorated with crayon scribbles. I had asked dumb questions in class that everyone else seemed to know. I couldn’t sleep the previous night because of compulsive studying. And now I was going to get sick one way or another, mortified in front of all these teenage and 20-something classmates, and Dr. Capps and Jeanette and Robin and everyone else encouraging me at Nash Community College were going to be disappointed, because they were going to see that I was too old, too worn out, and too distracted to start over. I’d exit my second college attempt ingloriously, either via a stretcher or on a cloud of embarrassment.

I’d never experienced test anxiety before. School was incredibly easy for me from Kindergarten through the end of my freshman year of college. That had actually been the problem – I had been bored and, I will admit it now, conceited about my academic ability. I didn’t appreciate what my teachers were trying to offer me, because I didn’t think I needed it. And before my sophomore year of college began, I dropped out. I didn’t need a piece of paper to prove anything to anybody.

People tried to tell me I was wrong, but it was life that smacked the arrogance out of me. Turned out I did need a piece of paper – not for the sake of the paper, but to prove I had the determination, the flexibility of thinking, the respect for authority, and the years of practice applying math and writing and teamwork and research and who-knows-how-many-other skills that go along with pursuit of a college degree. So seven years, two lay-offs, and a child later, I showed up at Nash Community College – completely lost, insecure, and scared to death that I’d never be able to give my child the economic security in life that he deserved to have.

Some kind folks in enrollment took me in, walked me through the application, helped me with the transcript requirements, and explained financial aid – all in time to sign up for classes that were starting in less than a week. I had the great fortune to end up in Robin’s hands, and she helped me figure out a class schedule that worked with my crazy minimum-wage job and mommy schedules. I knew I had to move quickly, because there was no guarantee that I would be able to afford school from one day to the next.

I left orientation pumped up and looking forward to starting classes. Except for College Algebra, which Robin had recommended and I was dreading. I thought she had a higher-than-deserved estimate of my potential, but Robin connected me with tutoring before class even started, assuring me that all I needed was someone to encourage me and help me remember all of the little things I had forgotten over the years. Jeanette was my tutor, and she believed in my ability so much that letting her down was not an option. Dr. Capps was my instructor. On the first day of class he BLEW MY MIND by showing that math was a man-made system, not some cloudy religion with strange followers and cryptic rituals, and that if I just followed the rules, I’d get the same answer as everyone else. All of a sudden, and for the first time, math seemed doable.

Right up ‘til the first test – and, just my luck, the algebra test ended up being the very first test of my very first semester of my very first year back in school. All my confidence flew right out the window, and I stared at the paper with a blank mind and a sick stomach. Finally I figured that I had to do something, even if it was wrong….so I dredged the quadratic formula up from somewhere deep in my skull and proceeded to plug numbers from every single problem into it, whether I was supposed to or not.

Taking action cleared my anxiety out of the way about halfway through the test. Something clicked, and at the bottom of the first page I remembered something other than the quadratic formula – something that actually applied. I went back and reworked the entire page of problems. (It turned out that only one of them actually needed that formula.) I had never been the last one to finish a test before – watching everyone walk out while I sat and struggled was a new experience for me, and I was tempted to give up and go out anyway, to save my pride, if not my grade. Dr. Capps, God bless him, encouraged me to stay past the end of class and take as much time as I needed to finish…so I did.

I passed the test. I could not believe it. I had done a lot in my life, even won a few awards, but I had never felt the sense of accomplishment that came when that paper came back to me with a big ol’ fat A across the corner of it. I nearly cried when I showed it around the tutoring office. I’m about to cry thinking about it now. For the first time I had bothered to put everything I had into a school assignment – and found out that my all was enough. That test taught me way more than math, way more than a handful of formulas and the order of operations – it taught me to move through fear, to value knowledge over pride, to understand that my teachers could help me find the answers to questions I didn’t even know enough to ask if I just opened up with humility and let them teach me. I let go of arrogance and embraced algebra.

And for the next four years, while I completed my Associate’s at Nash and then my Bachelor’s at Meredith, I let myself be the last one to walk out of the door for any test I took.

Contributed by: Jenny Braswell, NCC Alumnus, NCC Grant Coordinator/Principal Investigator