Two students from West Kentucky Community and Technical College will be among 97 students recognized at the honors ceremony on Friday, May 9 at 6 p.m. in the Clemens Fine Arts Center on the WKCTC campus.
Chelsea Rollins of McCracken County and Michelle Jackson of Marshall County were selected for the 2014 All-USA Community College Academic Team, each receiving a scholarship and medallion. They were two of only 20 students in the nation to be chosen for the award, which is presented each year by "USA Today" and administered by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.
The award is presented to exceptional students at the nation’s community colleges with consideration of grades, academic rigor, growth and how well the students use their education to benefit their schools and communities.
Both Rollins and Jackson said it’s a privilege to be chosen for the All-USA Academic Team and proud of their accomplishments at WKCTC and excited about their educational futures.
“I never thought that my participation in community and campus events would lead to such a prestigious recognition; I just wanted to serve others,“ said Jackson. Rollins agreed whole-heartedly. “Winning this award has been such a honor in my academic endeavors. I am truly grateful for the opportunities this award has provided me and the promising future it has influenced in my life both professionally and personally.”
In 2011, Jackon's husband graduated from WKCTC and was hired at a local hospital and she was laid off from yet another office job.
“I realized quickly that continuing my education was not only an important example for my three children, but it would also allow me to be more competitive in the workforce, although entering college at the age of 35 was more than intimidating,” she said.
Jackson didn’t think she would do well in school, but in her first semester she earned a 4.0 GPA.
“Then I knew I could do it; and it’s been my goal every semester,” she said.
Now just two years later, Jackson is graduating in May with an Associate in Applied Science degree in office system technology with plans to continue her education in business administration.
Rollins’ initial thoughts of college were pessimistic with ideas riddled with doubt and hesitancy.
“WKCTC made me fall in love with the idea of education, self-improvement, and furthering my education in order to achieve my life goals,” Rollins said. “As cliché as it might sound, WKCTC is what restored hope in myself and my goals and that through hard work and support those goals and dreams are attainable.”
Rollins, who has also been named a 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar, plans to transfer Murray State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and possibly join the Peace Corps before continuing her education in the future.
Rollins and Jackson will receive the All-USA Community College Academic Team award at the honors ceremony on May 9.
These students have earned the following honors. They are listed by county residence:
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