The first-ever PRIDE awards were presented as the Male Mentoring program at Vance-Granville Community College recently held an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding students who have participated in the program.
The ceremony, held May 2 in the VGCC Civic Center, began with welcoming remarks from the president of the college, Dr. Stelfanie Williams. “I want you to know how important you are to us as male leaders in our college and in our community,” Dr. Williams told the students being recognized. “We are glad that Vance-Granville has played a part in your growth and development.”
The highlight of the evening was the first presentation of the Male Mentoring PRIDE awards. As Greg Nash, co-coordinator for the Male Mentoring program and chair of the VGCC Adult Basic Skills department, explained, PRIDE stands for “Pin Recognizing Individuals Demonstrating Excellence.” Each honored student received a lapel pin designed by Nash.
The PRIDE Award for Engagement went to Computer Technology Integration student Bradley Gooch of Oxford and Vance County Early College High School/College Transfer student Christopher Blue of Henderson for being active in the program and making a concerted effort to keep in touch with their coaches (members of the VGCC faculty and staff) on a consistent basis. Gooch has served as vice president of the Male Mentoring Club this year, and Blue has served as recorder/treasurer.
For their longevity being active in the program, College Transfer student Moises Ortiz of Louisburg and Computer Technology Integration student Jordan Bunting of Rocky Mount received the PRIDE Awards for Tenure.
College Transfer student Benjamin Marshall of Butner received the PRIDE Award for Leadership for his work to share the program’s vision with others and helping with various events. Marshall has served as Male Mentoring team leader for VGCC’s South Campus.
The PRIDE Awards for Scholarship were presented to students who have completed at least 50 credit hours while maintaining a GPA of 3.2 or higher. The honorees were Warren Early College High School/College Transfer student Christopher Ford of Manson (who has served as president of the Male Mentoring club this year), Franklin County Early College High School student Sean Griffith of Wake Forest and Computer Technology Integration student Dajuan Harrison of Henderson.
Students and staff members presented highlights of Male Mentoring events and activities from the past year. Academic and Career Coach Seletha Pherribo discussed an educational trip to Washington, D.C., that included a White House tour. Academic and Career Coach Anthony Pope, co-coordinator for the Male Mentoring program, recounted a visit to Warren Early College High School by former Harlem Globetrotter James “Twiggy” Sanders that the program sponsored. VGCC Criminal Justice student Matthew Jaurique recalled another guest speaker, former Dallas Cowboy Greg Ellis. Tim MacNeil, assistant coordinator for the VGCC Academic Skills Center, talked about the “Math Matters” presentation by distinguished N.C. State University professor Lee Stiff. Student Christopher Blue recapped a presentation by Delores S. Eaton and what her story taught him about African-American history. College Transfer student Mikal Williams gave his perspective on the recent Male Mentoring trip to Atlanta, which included stops at several historically black colleges and universities. Donal Gooch, a student-athlete on the VGCC Vanguards basketball team, discussed a tour of the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner. The tour was designed to bring awareness to students of federal government career opportunities and to highlight the importance of developing strong critical thinking skills through education. Gooch’s teammate, Alcyone Moore, recalled a presentation by Psychology instructor Peter Metzner, “Relax Your Way to Better Grades.”
In addition to the PRIDE awards, Anthony Pope presented a certificate to every student who participated in the program this year. In closing remarks, VGCC Dean of Students George Henderson congratulated students on their success and thanked the coaches for making a difference in the lives of their mentees.
Supported by a grant from the N.C. Community College System, the VGCC Male Mentoring program involves an active, intensive, and engaging process of academic coaching and case management to help male students succeed. For more information on the mentoring program, contact Anthony Pope at email@example.com or (252) 738-3395, or Greg Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 738-3305.